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Vi fellow, Serigne Bassirou Lo, lecturer/researcher at Vi core Senegalese university member, Université Cheikh Anta Diop (right), with UNCTAD mentor, Piergiuseppe FortunatoThe Virtual Institute, with funding from the Government of Finland, granted a six-week fellowship to Serigne Bassirou Lo, lecturer/researcher at Vi core Senegalese university member, Université Cheikh Anta Diop,  April 4 - May 13.

With guidance from his mentor, Piergiuseppe Fortunato, of UNCTAD’s Division on Globalization and Development Strategies, Lo conducted research on the manufacturing sector in Senegal, and on the participation of domestic firms in international trade.

“The discussions with the experts and the analysis of recent literature strengthened my knowledge of the matter,” Lo said.


During the fellowship, he conducted an extensive literature review d

iscussing recent papers on the linkages between domestic constraints, productivity and export performance. The review informed the data collection and the methodological part of his work.

Lo also built a dataset containing very detailed information on a vast sample of firms including measures of productivity, export intensity and size and age of the firm.

The preliminary empirical results suggest that indicators of the business environment, such as access to finance, infrastructure and competition from the informal sector, negatively impact productivity and the probability of exporting companies.

“The fellowship was very beneficial to me,” Lo said. “With an ideal working environment, I was able to achieve my objectives. Experts have been available and have much supported me in my research.”

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