World Trade Forum 2021 | Digital, green and open? Global Trade policy at crossroads

The 2021 World Trade Forum, co-organised with the World Trade Institute at the University of Bern which took place on 14-15 October, brought together leading trade practitioners and scholars, government officials, and representatives of international and non-governmental organisations. Sessions addressed lessons and implications of trade policy responses to the COVID-19 pandemic, research on digital and trade dimensions of programs to green the economy, EU external policies and prospects for plurilateral cooperation under the umbrella of the WTO. The forum in 2021comprised of plenary sessions only – due to COVID-19 related space constraints, it did not have the usual structure with several parallel sessions at the same time.

Every year, a book related to the World Trade Forum is published with Cambridge University Press. For 2021, the book project is managed by Henry Gao (Singapore Management University), Damian Raess (WTI) and Ka Zeng (University of Arkansas). The book project this year will organize parallel sessions in November on the topic ‘China and the WTO’.

Video recording

14 October

15 October


World Trade Forum 2015
Assessing the World Trade Organization: Fit for Purpose? Manfred Elsig, Bernard Hoekman and Joost Pauwelyn (eds.), Cambridge University Press, 2017.

World Trade Forum 2016
Behind-the-Border Policies: Assessing and Addressing Non-Tariff Measures, Joseph Francois and Bernard Hoekman (eds.). Cambridge University Press, 2019.

World Trade Forum 2017
The Shifting Landscape of Trade Governance, Manfred Elsig, Michael Hahn and Gabriele Spilker (eds.), Cambridge University Press, 2019.

World Trade Forum 2018
International trade, investment, and the Sustainable Development Goals: World Trade Forum. Cosimo Beverelli, Jürgen Kurtz and Damian Raess (eds.), Cambridge University Press, 2020.

World Trade Forum 2019
International Economic Dispute Settlement: Demise or Transformation? Manfred Elsig, Rodrigo Polanco and Peter van den Bossche, 2021 (forthcoming)