by News WeeklyNews Weekly
Paying the piper ...?
, December 18, 1999
The World Trade Organisation's (WTO) recent meeting in Seattle was bankrolled in part by major corporations, which sold 'corporate access' to the trade negotiations.
The privately run Seattle Hosting Organisation (SHO), co-chaired by Microsoft's Bill Gates and Boeing CEO Phil Condit, sold corporate access to the event to raise $14.4 million towards the conference costs.
Those who wanted to 'sponsor' at the Emerald Level are paying $390,000 for the privilege.
For this price, corporations like Ford, General Motors, Deloitte & Touche, Nexel Communications/Motorola, Boeing and Microsoft were given five guest seats at the opening and closing receptions and a ministerial dinner, four places at private sector participation conference, briefings and updates on progress at the round, media assistance and other service niceties.
All told, about 200 major corporations were offered access, according to their 'sponsorship' contributions which range from the Bronze ($39,000-$117,000) category up to the Emerald level.