A partnership with academia

Building knowledge for trade and development

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Vi University member, Talib Awad: UNCTAD training provides useful tools for teaching and researchTwo Virtual Institute members from Jordan and Iraq took part in UNCTAD's regional training for Western Asia on Key Issues on the International Economic Agenda held in Beirut from 26 June to 13 July. The course focuses on the links between trade, investment and development, especially in the context of the current multilateral trade negotiations, and aims to build the knowledge and skills of trade officials and academics from the participating countries.

Virtual Institute university member, Talib Awad, from the University of Jordan's Department of Economics, and Vi associate member, Rabee Salih from Baghdad University in Iraq, participated in the course. Mr. Awad produced a short paper and a presentation about FDI and National Policies in , and contributed to the course with interventions in the discussion of a number of critical issues that were raised by the course presenters and participants. He was also selected as group leader for the final policy simulation exercise on arriving at a national consensus on a WTO services negotiation issue. Mr. Awad shares his experiences with us:

"The content of the course reflected up-to-date materials that I consider carefully selected and well diversified. Some of the course modules were very advanced and specialized, but the high degree of diversity in the course modules made it possible for almost every participant to interact and contribute. Indeed, the course's group was among the most active and enthusiastic groups that I have ever seen.

I have benefited very much from the course, since it allowed direct interaction with many intellectuals and experts in various areas of international trade, international finance, and development.

Some of the areas were quite new to me so that I have to read and learn about them, but the course enriched my knowledge and experience in the area of trade negotiations, exchange rates and macroeconomic policies, issues related to developing countries versus developed countries, and transportation.

Many of the course materials are very relevant to the courses we are already teaching here at the University of Jordan for both undergraduate and graduate levels: international trade, international finance, commercial policies, international monetary systems, and economic development. I hope we will be able to integrate some of the material in such courses directly, and to use it as supplementary reading. For me many of the materials will be integrated in my books on international trade and finance to enrich the practical and legal aspects of trade, finance and development. Some of them will be used as case studies as appropriate.

I am convinced that the course can contribute positively to what you call endogenous capacity building. Therefore I strongly recommend it to all Vi members without any reservation."

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

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