The UNCTAD Virtual Institute is recruiting two new members for its Geneva-based team.
The first position is a three- to six-month (as of January 2016) consultant post for an economist/econometrist to substantively and administratively backstop Vi technical cooperation services for academic institutions in developing and transition countries.
Researchers from Vi affiliate member, the Institute for Applied Economic Research (IPEA), joined UNCTAD’s Astrit Sulstarova for a videoconference presentation of the 2015 World Investment Report (WIR) August 26.
Foreign direct investment (FDI) flows fell by 16 percent worldwide in 2014. In developed countries, the drop was attributed to divestment in the United States due to companies' buyback. Regional conflicts and macroeconomic instability were to blame for the 50 percent decrease in transition economies.
However, "there is an increasing trend in developing economies, which now receive 55 percent of all FDI inflows," Sulstarova said. Five developing economies made it to the top 10 host list, with China leading as the top FDI destination, he added. As a matter of fact, with a 2 percent increase in inflows, FDI directed at developing countries reached a new high, according to the report.
The Virtual Institute selected 71 academics from 37 countries to participate in the third edition of its online course on trade and poverty, scheduled for September 14 to November 29. All participants were granted scholarships, made possible with funding from the Government of Finland.
"We received 157 applications, so the selection committee was faced with a very difficult task. But we are trying to raise funds for further editions of this course," said Vi Chief, Vlasta Macku.
Developed in 2013 to support the Vi project on trade and poverty, the course has so far trained over 100 academics from more than 50 countries, and generated 12 policy-oriented research papers, eight of which were compiled in the Vi publication, "Trade policies, household welfare and poverty alleviation."
The University of Georgia (UG) joined the Virtual Institute academic network today, expanding the reach of the Vi to 59 countries.
UG, which celebrated its 10th anniversary last year, is one of the leading universities in the country. Its main goal is to support the personal growth and professional development of its students. Located in the capital city of Tbilisi, the university is structured into six schools, including one dedicated to law and another one to business, economics and management.
The School of Law will be the main counterpart of the Vi at UG. The School offers Bachelor's, Master's and PhD programmes - taught in Georgian, with some courses in English, and is currently working on establishing an English-language Master’s programme in International Business Law (IBL) targeting international and Georgian students. The programme will include courses such as International Trade Law, WTO Law, International Banking Law, International Investment Law, Intellectual Property Law, International Commercial Arbitration, International Business Transactions, and others. The two-year programme aims to admit 25 students in its first year. Its development is intended to expand UG's offer of English-language programmes in the business area, adding to the undergraduate and graduate programmes in Business Administration already offered by the School of Business, Economics and Management.
Fifty-eight academics and trade practitioners from 39 countries successfully completed the second edition of the Virtual Institute online course on non-tariff measures (NTMs) and data collection held June 1 to July 19.
“This is my first online course and I must say that I am greatly impressed,” said Tiglun Manaye Mandefro, of Ethiopia’s Ministry of Trade. “The course preparation, coordination and delivery were just flawless!”
I feel that the Virtual Institute represents a model for capacity building which is unparalleled. It is not only a mechanism, it’s not only a channel, but it is a forum where people get together and learn.
Fredrik Arthur, Gender Equality Ambassador
Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Norway