WTO chief underscores need to adapt to rapidly-changing global trading environment

Source: Xinhua| 2019-10-09 05:50:42|Editor: yan
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GENEVA, Oct. 8 (Xinhua) -- The World Trade Organization (WTO) Director-General Roberto Azevedo on Tuesday stressed the need for all participants in global trade to recognize and adapt to a trading environment that is undergoing rapid technological change.

"We need to change because technology advances, more services become tradeable, and rising generations join the workforce," he said in his welcome remarks to the opening plenary of WTO's 2019 Public Forum here.

"New technologies have the potential to expand human capabilities and enable inclusive prosperity, or they could fuel unemployment, inequality, and years of instability and unrest. The future we get will be shaped by the policies we choose, at the domestic and international levels," Azevedo added.

Noting that 3,200 participants registered to attend this year's forum, a 30 percent increase over last year, the WTO chief told the audience that 140 sessions have been scheduled over the four days of this year's public forum.

"The enthusiasm has been reassuring," he told the opening plenary. "It means we're asking the right questions -- and that we are working together to find answers."

Taking place in Geneva from Oct. 8-11, this year's WTO public forum theme is "Trading Forward: Adapting to a Changing World".

The 2019 forum's high-level sessions are looking at how countries, businesses and traders can best prepare and adapt to a changing world, what Millennials and Generation Z expect from global trade, the increasing importance of services in global trade, and how the WTO can respond to a rapidly changing world.