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Alena Petrushkevich, Associate Professor and Vi coordinator at Belarus State Economic University wrote she was proud that her University was chosen to host UNCTAD's 14th regional training course on Key Issues of the International Economic Agenda.

Twenty four participants from 12 countries in Eastern Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) attended the course held June 23-July 11.

Petrushkevich reports that the program examined contemporary topics on international economics and their development implications for economies in transition. The course was organized in a systematic manner which, in spite of the wide range of topics, dealt effectively with policies relevant for the region in a globalizing economy, giving policy-makers the overall picture of trends in international economic development to help them define the right policies for their region.

"The course exceeded my expectations," Petrushkevich said. "It focused not just on presenting information and theory but on generating debates, brainstorming and presentations from participants. This is an essential advantage of the course that distinguishes it from many others."

There were a lot of examples from international practice, supported by facts and statistical evidence. UNCTAD experts used active methods of training and communication that generated lively discussions often extending through coffee and lunch breaks, she adds.

"The simulation exercise on GATS was unique. It synthesized the concepts learned in the training modules and provided opportunities to learn about WTO rules and to acquire negotiating skills.

"In my opinion, the level of the course was very high and the participants are lucky to have had an opportunity to gain from it," she concludes.

For more information about the course, visit http://p166.unctad.org.