An UNCTAD expert meeting is an opportunity to bring together a group of specialists to discuss and exchange experiences and best practices on a particular topic, in this case the building of skills in developing countries: training, ICTs and networking.

A background paper was prepared by staff of the Virtual Institute as well as the agenda and programme for the meeting all of which are available on the UNCTAD website.

Both Vi members Sarah Geddes from Carlton University in and Francis Matambalya from the Univeristy of Dar-Es-Salaam in made presentations under the session on strengthening training and teaching capacities in developing countries. Additionally, Francis also participated in the first round-table of the meeting, on the challenges for capacity building efforts. In the third session, on strengthening research capacities in developing countries, Sam Laird - former principal trade expert at UNCTAD - presented the Virtual Institute's workshop on trade data and trade policy analysis, held in Geneva earlier this year (see Vi Newsletter issue 10). Also present at the meeting were representatives from the African Economic Research Consortium and the Economic Research Forum, both featured in our 'links' section below.