2019 Public Forum theme to be ‘Trading Forward: Adapting to a Changing World’

  • From 08/10/19 to 11/10/19
  • Rue de Lausanne 154
  • 8:00am - 5:00pm

The WTO’s 2019 Public Forum, to be held on 8-11 October, will consider how trade and the trading system can adapt to a changing world. 

The Trade Dialogues working session will be hosted on 9 October between 12:00-13:30pm in room W.

The trading landscape is increasingly characterized by changes in technology, production methods, employment patterns, demand patterns, demographics, and climate – to name just a few. Last year’s Public Forum sought to describe these changes and consider how global trade would evolve over the coming decades.

This year’s Forum will discuss how traders around the world can get ready for that future and foster exchanges on how to adapt. This will include a particular focus on the future of services trade; it will consider the perspectives of Millennials and Gen Z (who will represent over half the world’s population by 2020); and it will look at how the WTO itself will need to change and adapt to meet the challenges ahead.

Under the main theme of ‘Trading Forward: Adapting to a Changing World,’ the sub-themes will be Services – the Next Trade Frontier; The Next Generation – what do Millennials & Gen Z want to see from the global trading system; and The Next Chapter of the WTO – strengthening the trading system.

Sessions for the Public Forum are organised by civil society, academia, business, governments, parliamentarians and intergovernmental organizations. The call for proposals will open soon. Registration is due to open on 1 May 2019.


The Public Forum is the WTO’s largest annual outreach event. It provides a unique platform for heads of state, parliamentarians, business people, students, academics and civil society to come together and debate a wide range of trade and development topics. Over 1,500 participants attend the Forum each year. See more information on previous Public Forums.


8 October 2019 @ 8 h 00 min
11 October 2019 @ 17 h 00 min


Geneva, WTO Headquarters
Rue de Lausanne 154
Genève, 1202 Swaziland
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