A partnership with academia

Building knowledge for trade and development

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The Vi organized a study tour for 23 students from core Chinese member, the University of International Business and Economics (UIBE), September 27 to October 1.

"I am really impressed by this study tour," said one of the students. "All the lecturers are really professional and knowledgeable. I believe I have acquired a lot of knowledge about international economics and trade through this programme."

One hundred percent of the students said the study tour, the first organized for the Beijing university, had met all their expectations. "The topics presented are really hot today," several of them said.

After an introduction to the Vi and UNCTAD, Heiner Flassbeck, Head of the Division on Globalization and Development Strategies, presented the findings of the latest UNCTAD Trade and Development Report. Jan Hoffmann, of the Division on Technology and Logistics; Guoyong Liang and Anthony Miller, of the Division on Investment and Enterprise; as well as Norbert Lebale, of the Division for Africa, LDCs and Special Programmes, were also at hand to familiarize students with trade facilitation, foreign direct investment, corporate social responsibility and relations between Africa and China.

"I loved the subjects," a student commented. " I had already learned something about them when I came here, but after all the lessons given, I understand some of the problems in a different way. I'll be continuing thinking and researching the subjects in China."

The students participated in a simulation exercise on trade negotiations where they carried out consultations relating to trade in the banking sector with support from UNCTAD's Liping Zhang, of the Division on International Trade in Goods and Services, and Commodities. Afterwards, the students heard first-hand accounts of the real negotiation process from delegates of the Permanent Mission of China to the WTO.

"We got so much information and experience about communication, negotiation and financial systems that we can't learn from textbooks," another student said.

The group also had the opportunity to visit the World Trade Organization, the International Trade Centre and the World Intellectual Property Organization, and learn more about their work.

"What I appreciate most is that when we go to a place, for example WTO, ITC, WIPO, we have topics that focus on the functions of these organizations and their relations with China," said another student.

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