A partnership with academia

Building knowledge for trade and development


On 14 May 2008, UNCTAD expert on investment policy, Mr. Massimo Meloni, held a lecture at the Belarus State Economic University for the 4th year students of the specialization "International Investment" of the Faculty of International Economic Relations. The lecture focused on the objectives and tasks of the project "Investment Policy Review" for the Republic of Belarus.

The lecture, given in English, provided a number of examples from world practice regarding Foreign Direct Investment and its influence on economic development, as well as investment policies. Students were active in asking questions - two other experts, Ms. Griffin and Mr. Zashev, also contributed to the discussion.

"My students and I are very pleased that Mr. Meloni has agreed to give the lecture. It was really interesting, and had a lot of examples from international practice in investment policy creation and modifications," said BSEU's Vi member coordinator, Alena Petrushkevich.

"Students shared with me their impressions afterwards," she added. "First of all, they are proud of having the opportunity to communicate face-to-face with the experts from the international organization that publishes the documents they use widely in their studies and in research. The trick is that students always think that international organizations are somewhere on the top of the world and impossible to reach for common people. That is why the event is recognition of the importance of the dialog with the new generation of Belarusian economists. This fact motivates much.

"Second, the students found that the atmosphere was so friendly that they felt as equals in the discussions with top experts. Third, the students got answers to their many questions in FDI trends and IPR development."

"We were very happy to have the opportunity to meet with UNCTAD representatives," said Svetlana Misyula, a student representative. "It was particularly interesting for us to learn about the methodology for Investment Policy Reviews in different countries, and the recommendations with regard to the formulation of effective investment policies, including in our country. We are very much looking forward to the findings of the Review for Belarus and hope that we will be able to host its presentation in our university."

Mr. Meloni came to the Republic of Belarus as the head of the mission in charge of the implementation of the Investment Policy Review project for Belarus. The project is being carried out in cooperation with UNDP and the Ministry of Economy of the Republic of Belarus, in the framework of the MoU between the Republic of Belarus and UNCTAD, signed by the Prime Minister of Belarus and the Secretary-General of UNCTAD on 17 June 2007.

"I'd like to thank you, Vlasta (Vi's Chief), for your assistance," writes Petrushkevich. "This is the positive result of Vi's work on establishing a link between theory and practice."

As of 24 May 2007, the BSEU is one of the 24 universities worldwide which are members of the UNCTAD Virtual Institute.

In the framework of the above cooperation, the BSEU will host an UNCTAD regional course on key issues on the international economic agenda which will take place from 23 June to 11 July 2008. The course will be attended by government officials and representatives of academic institutions from countries with economies in transition. The course, focusingis on the region of Eastern Europe and Central Asia, will be organized with support from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Belarus and the UNDP office in Minsk.

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