For the third consecutive year, a group of 28 students from the University of International Business and Economics, People’s Republic of China, accompanied by two academics, attended a one-week training programme at Geneva-based international organizations September 24-28.
The programme of the Virtual Institute study tour was tailored to cover international economic, business and legal topics of special relevance to China.
Experts from UNCTAD's technical cooperation service and the divisions on globalization and development strategies, trade, investment, and technology and logistics introduced the group to UNCTAD and its thinking, discussed current trends and challenges in the world economy, and highlighted the role of investment, technology and innovation, and transport and trade facilitation in export success, economic growth and development.
In addition, students learned about selected topical issues in international economics and business, namely BRICS countries and South-South integration, climate change and trade, and corporate social responsibility.
Partner organizations of the Virtual Institute (WTO, WIPO and ITC)also contributed lectures to the programme of the tour. The WTO sessions delved into the current status of WTO negotiations, WTO anti-dumping measures and dispute cases involving China, and discussed China's recent Trade Policy Review.
WIPO introduced the students to the role of intellectual property in economic development, as well as the issues related to the protection of copyright, patents, trademarks, industrial designs and geographical indications.
ITC offered presentations of its market analysis tools, in particular Market Access Map and Trade Map, and introduced its programme on Non-Tariff Measures.
"The study tour really exceeded my expectations," said one of the students. "The professors gave many interesting and useful lectures which broadened my horizon and enlightened me for my academic projects."
The students also had the opportunity to visit the Permanent Mission of China, and discuss issues of specific interest to their country in Geneva-based trade-related negotiations with the diplomats in charge of UNCTAD and WTO.
The tour culminated with a simulation exercise on foreign direct investment where the students played the roles of the national investment promotion agency and ministries of a fictitious country, tasked with advising the president on the stance he should take with regard to a proposal by a foreign investor.
"The world economy and globalization are moving rapidly, and China is getting closer to the other countries of the world," commented a study tour participant. "But there are still lots of issues for us to learn and practice to better compete in the global market."
The group left Geneva satisfied with their experience and motivated to pursue their studies on international economic, political and legal issues in their future careers.
"A close access to the UN made me realize what "international" and "diversity" mean. It really helped me to make the decision to become an international lawyer," said a student majoring in economic law.
"Not only big organizations like the UN, but also single countries and individual people are responsible for the world development and peace," said another participant. "The United Nations is where we can have our ultimate goal achieved, should we like to make a difference to the world," concluded another.