Last week a number of colleagues accompanied the NWU’s WTO chair holder (Prof Wilma Viviers) to the 16th WTO Public Forum in Geneva, Switzerland. On the 29th Dr Grater was invited as a panelist in a session was devoted to sharing the results from the North-West University’s TRADE (Trade and Development) research entity and the ICTSD’s on-going work on services and sustainable and inclusive economic development in LDCs and LICs.
Topics that were addressed included the linkages between services and sustainable development, the relationship between services and gender outcomes, and the linkages between service-orientated SMEs and sustainable development objectives. The introductory remarks were handled by Wilma Viviers, Director, TRADE (Trade and Development) research focus area, North-West University. The other panelists were Nicholas Frank, Programme Officer, ICTSD; Sonja Grater, Senior lecturer and researcher, North-West University and Julia Lipowiecka, Independent Consultant.
The Public Forum stimulated debate and acts as platform for voices to be heard. Only by putting words into action will Forums such as this escape the accusation of mere talk and no action, frequently leveled at such gatherings.