As the World Trade Organization (WTO) struggles to move out of years-long stalled negotiations, the ability of the multilateral trading system to respond to new global trade realities and challenges is being called into question. Old templates and aspirations of the trade policy community are no longer sufficient to address the needs of the business environment, profoundly transformed over the last decade. There has been an increasing consensus that closer communication between the WTO and the private sector – the primary beneficiary of the rules-based trading system – is of high importance in supporting the mission of this global institution.
It is against this background that the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), The Evian Group@IMD (TEG) and the International Centre on Trade and Sustainable Development (ICTSD), with the support of other international institutions and business entities jointly convene the Bali Business Forum (BBF) on the occasion of the Ninth WTO Ministerial Conference to be held in Bali, Indonesia, in December 2013. The BBF is organized within the framework of the ICTSD-led Trade and Development Symposium, at the Bali International Convention Centre, Westin Resort Nusa Dua.
With its global business focus, the BBF is meant to provide a forum where the business community will examine the most critical issues in the global trade agenda, and interact in an open dialogue with ministers, high-level officials and academics to ensure a constructive outcome in Bali. Through four interactive sessions, the BBF will explore new perspectives on WTO-related issues – moving ‘beyond Doha’ and offering a space for closer engagement between the private sector and the WTO.