WTO Public Forum | Trade Beyond COVID-19: Building Resilience


This year’s Public Forum, entitled “Trade Beyond COVID-19: Building Resilience”, will look at the effects of the pandemic on trade and how the multilateral trading system can help build resilience to COVID-19 and future crises. The Public Forum will have three subthemes:

  • Enhancing Resilience beyond COVID-19
  • Strengthening the Multilateral Trading System
  • Collective Action towards Sustainable Trade


The COVID-19 pandemic is an unprecedented health crisis with far-reaching socio-economic effects. It has increased poverty and deepened inequality across the world – with women, youth and children the most affected. According to the ILO, global employment losses stood at 114 million jobs relative to 2019, with the highest number of losses affecting women (5% decline) and young workers (8.7%). Job losses and subsequent loss in income have had far-reaching consequences, including increased stress and mental illness, greater domestic violence and fewer children going to school. The World Bank estimates that the pandemic will push as many as 163 million people into poverty by this year, threatening progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals.


The Public Forum is the WTO’s largest annual outreach event. It provides a unique platform for heads of states, 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

Those interested in attending the Forum should complete the online registration form no later than 27 September 2021.