UNCTAD Virtual Institute
In today's increasingly complex world, countries at all stages of development need effective policymakers and negotiators with solid knowledge of international economic issues. They also need up-to-date analysis about how the changes in the world economy will impact their countries and which policies could best respond to both the opportunities and the challenges of globalization.
Academic institutions, such as universities and research centres, are a vital source of information and training in developing countries. They educate future policymakers and business leaders, and offer empirical research required for informed policymaking and negotiation.
Cognizant of this important role of academia, UNCTAD established a special programme of cooperation with academic institutions, the UNCTAD Virtual Institute on Trade and Development (Vi), in June 2004. While initially the Vi worked only with universities, in December 2011, its scope was enlarged to also encompass research centres, members of the UNCTAD Global Network of Development Think Tanks.
The Virtual Institute is a capacity-building and networking programme for academic institutions in developing and transition countries. Its aim is to help them strengthen their teaching and research capacity in the area of trade, investment and development, and increase the policy orientation and relevance of their work.
The Vi works with member institutions of its academic network on a long-term basis by providing services in three areas:
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