sdmast.jpg (21763 bytes) Seattle Symposium on International Trade Issues in the First Decades of the Next Century
 29 November 1999; Seattle, USA
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Briefing


The Seattle Symposium on International Trade Issues in the First Decades of the Next Century was held at the Washington State Convention and Trade Center in Seattle, Washington on 29 November 1999, on the eve of the World Trade Organization�s (WTO) Third Ministerial Conference, which is to take place from 30 November-3 December 1999. Approximately 1500 delegates, comprising representatives of WTO Member States, intergovernmental organizations (IGOs), non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and journalists, participated in the Symposium, which was webcast live. During two panel sessions, delegates engaged in informal dialogue on issues likely to affect the international trading system in the next century in an effort to enhance awareness of the issues involved, provide a forum for exchange of ideas, and increase the understanding of the WTO�s contributions in these areas.

In the first session, participants considered trade and development prospects for the next twenty years, particularly how trade liberalization can contribute to development, the need for increased cooperation among IGOs� activities in support of sustainable economic development, and the contributions to be made by NGOs in this effort. Special attention was given to the role of international trade in poverty elimination, the effects of globalization on developing country economies, and ways in which the WTO�s least developed Members can become more fully integrated into the trading system. In the second session, participants considered evolving public concerns with the multilateral trading system, emphasizing the relationship between sustainable development and the WTO�s trade liberalization imperative, how scientific innovation and developments in information technology (IT) potentially impact the trading agenda, and technology transfer concerns.  

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