A partnership with academia

Building knowledge for trade and development


Students from Vi Chinese core member The Virtual Institute’s fourth annual study tour for core Chinese member, the University of International Business and Economics (UIBE), brought 28 students to Geneva September 16-20 for a one-week training programme on international topics of relevance to their country.

The programme comprised 19 sessions on current trends in international economics, business and law, delivered by experts from all UNCTAD divisions and Vi partner organizations, the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), the International Trade Centre (ITC) and the World Trade Organization (WTO).

 “I have gained really useful knowledge during the study tour and expanded my views to a more global way of thinking,” commented one of the students.

UNCTAD topics included foreign direct investment, global value chains, transport and trade facilitation, the green economy, technology and innovation, and corporate social responsibility.

The WIPO lecture focused on intellectual property and public policy.  At the WTO, the sessions focused on the Doha negotiations, anti-dumping measures and China’s ongoing trade policy review. There were also discussions on WTO dispute cases and trade in services. At ITC, students participated in a hands-on introduction of market analysis tools, Trade Map, Market Access Map, Investment Map and Standards Map.

 “After a clear and detailed introduction, I learned how to use these tools, and I have already thought of how to put them to use in my paper,” one of the participants said.

The Vi study tour also provided the students with the opportunity to discuss country-specific questions about trade negotiations with national representatives at the Permanent Mission of China in charge of UNCTAD and WTO matters.

“China is playing more and more significant role in the world and we need to learn from the developed countries in order to make China one of them,” said one student.

“We need to think long-term if China wants to develop in a sustainable way, because there are still many things that the country needs to do in order to fill in the gap between developed economies”, added another.

On the last day of the study tour, it was the students’ turn to take the floor as they took on the roles of ministries of a fictional country and a national investment promotion agency trying to convince the president on the best decision to make regarding a foreign investor’s offer to invest in the country, during a simulation exercise on FDI.

 Some of the students said they left Geneva with a motivation to work for the UN or other organizations after their studies. 

 “International organizations are wonderful places for a future career, where you can meet interesting people and enrich your knowledge and this study tour has inspired me to work hard towards that.,” a student concluded.