A group of 36 students and two lecturers from German Virtual Institute core member, HTW Berlin – University of Applied Sciences, took part in a half-day training session at UNCTAD for the fourth consecutive year on November 7, as part of a Vi-organized study visit.
Alfredo Calcagno, of the Division on Globalization and Development Strategies, introduced the students to the work and key objectives of UNCTAD, and presented the findings of the latest edition of the organization’s flagship publication, the Trade and Development Report (TDR).
“UNCTAD is the UN focal point for the integrated treatment of trade, investment and related development issues,” Calcagno said. “Based on three pillars -- consensus building, technical cooperation and analytical work and data collection -- its aim is to deal with trade and development issues from the developing countries’ perspective.”
For more than 30 years, under its analytical pillar, UNCTAD’s TDR has contributed wide-ranging research on interdependence, macroeconomics and finance, global economic governance and development strategies.
This year’s TDR, in addition to analyzing recent global economic trends, takes on the special topics of global governance and eroding policy space.
“The structure of world economy is changing, and in this more difficult external environment, developing countries need new growth drivers,” Calcagno said.
“Our message in the latest report is that you need active policies -- and active policies require policy space,” he added. “The greater policy ambition in both developed and developing countries to move towards a more inclusive and sustainable development also needs greater public resources.”
In the discussion that followed, the students’ questions touched on policy space, bilateral free trade agreements, rules of origin, South-South development and its regional integration in Africa, as well as income and macroeconomic policies.
Afterward, Vi’s Susana Olivares introduced the students to the Vi website and online resources useful for the students in their studies. In addition, she presented current internship opportunities with the Vi and the United Nations.
The visit ended with a guided tour of the Palais des Nations.