Students from the Master in International Trade Policy programme of the University of the West Indies' Shridath Ramphal Centre took part in a Vi study tour of Geneva-based international organizations May 16-27.
The two-week study tour, a required element for graduation, this year involved ten students from Barbados, Belize, Jamaica, Kenya and Trinidad and Tobago. The group gave high marks to the programme, which included topics such as sustainable development, climate change and the creative economy.
"The choice of subject matter was excellent and especially relevant and important in the context of the Caribbean region," one student said.
UNCTAD experts were also at hand to present perspectives on: opportunities for Least Developed Countries in a globalized economy; innovation and technology; competition policy; trade facilitation; regional integration; and foreign direct investment. Students also learned about the organization's technical assistance and its work with small island developing states.
"I thought that the choices were very good, and that the (programme) keeps up with current issues based on hot debates of that particular year or season," commented another student.
The group also had the opportunity of participating in an UNCTAD course for Geneva delegates on sovereign debt, and learn about the activities and research conducted by the World Trade Organization, the World Trade Centre, the World Intellectual Property Organization, the International Organization for Migration, the South Centre, and the International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development. One day was devoted to hands-on learning of tools for market research and analysis developed by the International Trade Centre.
The study tour ended with a round-table discussion on multilateral trade negotiations with the ambassadors of Barbados and Jamaica, as well as representatives from Trinidad and Tobago and the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS).
"All (sessions) dealt with relevant issues. All added value to my stay here," summarized a participant.