|Issue #28 - March 2011 - Welcome to the Vi quarterly newsletter|
| Oil, gas, mining Vi workshop energizes teaching and research in Africa|
Academics participating in the Vi natural resources workshop held in Tanzania last July report success in applying the knowledge acquired on oil, gas and minerals to their teaching, research, and policy-related activities. The workshop was part of the Vi project funded by the Government of Norway.
In Mozambique, for example, the materials from the workshop were incorporated into an upcoming Master's course on Mineral Resources Management. In Zambia, they enhanced a course on economic development, and in Togo they served as the basis for lectures in French for students in the Master's of Economics programme.
The workshop also sparked the publication of a paper on mining investment in Zimbabwe and four Vi mentored research projects currently underway on gold in Mali, phosphates in Togo, mining industries in Guinea, and oil and gas in Uganda. The projects are being developed in cooperation with the UNCTAD Special Unit on Commodities.
Ideas from the workshop are also making their way into policymaking, as one participant has been appointed to the board that will plan and manage monitoring and evaluation of Uganda's national oil and gas policy, while another plans to co-author a paper on the mining industry in Zimbabwe with the Chief Government Mining Engineer and the Technical Advisor of the Chamber of Mines. Similar synergies with policymakers are also taking place in Togo, Zambia and Guinea.
Vi workshop on investment supports Ethiopia's curriculum on investment
The goal of the workshop was to support Ethiopian universities in meeting the requirements of a newly adopted nationwide curriculum for legal education, which expects undergraduate students of investment law to have an understanding of the international framework for foreign investment, issues which are also covered in AAU School of Law's graduate program.
"Currently there are more than 20 law schools in the country implementing the new curriculum for undergraduate law students," writes former Vi fellow from AAU, Martha Belete Hailu. "However, many of these schools do not have an academic staff member having a specialization in the area of investment, making the teaching-learning process a little difficult. It was with the view to address this gap that the AAU School of Law requested the cooperation of the Vi to hold a workshop on International investment agreements for instructors teaching investment law."
In addition to acquiring new knowledge about the general concepts related to International Investment Agreements and Bilateral Investment Treaties (BIT), participants learned about the flexibility of investment treaties, and the importance of drafting the agreements carefully.
"I had little knowledge of difficulties that may arise when countries have different BITs with different content," said one of the participants.
The workshop involved interactive discussions of international investment agreements' provisions and practical arbitration cases. Participants particularly appreciated discussions on the experience of countries with cases brought under the auspices of the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) Convention, which Ethiopia may ratify.
"The methods of delivery and the issues presented enhanced the level of my understanding," commented another participant. "It should not stop here, as it helps the Ethiopian policymakers."
Nearly 90 percent of the participants plan to include the content of the workshop into their courses, while 75 percent voiced their intention to dedicate their research to the topic; about 40 percent said they would integrate the knowledge into their consultation work with policymakers.
Russian universities join UNCTAD for videoconference on TDR
The TDR 2010 reports on the budding global economic recovery, which, presenter Heiner Flassbeck (pictured, middle), Director of UNCTAD's Division on Globalization and Development Strategies, attributed to the coordinated action among the world's major advanced and emerging economies -- the Group of Twenty (G20).
Joining Flassbeck in Geneva were Dmitry Lyakishev, Counsellor of the Permanent Mission of the Russian Federation, and Vi Chief, Vlasta Macku. In Russia, approximately 90 students, lecturers and researchers participated in the videoconference, which was simultaneously hosted by Vi member universities, the Higher School of Economics in Moscow (HSE), and St. Petersburg State University of Economics and Finance (SPbSUEF).
Japan-funded joint research paper on carbon leakage now online
The Vi joint research project, funded by the Government of Japan, "clearly explains how to quantify CO2 emissions that are embedded in a country's trade, demonstrating in quantitative terms the net carbon balance in bilateral trade flows between India and Russia and their main trading partners," said one of the paper's peer reviewers, Robert Hamwey, of UNCTAD's Trade, Environment, Climate Change and Sustainable Development Branch.
The paper, also peer reviewed by Piergiuseppe Fortunato, of UNCTAD's Unit on Economic Cooperation and Integration among Developing Countries, includes recommendations for national and international policies to reduce future emissions, and facilitate the negotiating process for signing a new international climate agreement.
Members from Belarus and Italy publish joint research
The article examines the policy and legal frameworks governing foreign direct investments (FDI) in Belarus and their consistency with commitments undertaken by the country through bilateral trade agreements.
Russian member offers scholarship for summer programme - Deadline April 30
The program, to be conducted in English, aims to provide advanced knowledge and expertise on the contemporary Russian business environment and the latest strategies and practices necessary to successfully "do business" in the country.
Deadline for applications is April 30.
UNCTAD flagship course accepting applications from LAC region - Deadline May 13
The course addresses the issue of economic development and how different external and internal factors can contribute to the attainment of national development goals. Delivered by experts from UNCTAD, the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin American and the Caribbean, and the host country, the course includes presentations, group discussions, exercises and a final simulation of a WTO trade negotiation.
The course is primarily targeted at government policymakers, and applications must be submitted through the applicant's Permanent Mission in Geneva no later than May 13.
HTW/DAAD/Vi project to hold third workshop in May
The goal of the workshop is to provide a forum for analysis and discussion of LDCs’ economic trends, especially in Sub-Saharan Africa, and their likely future development. It will reunite scholars, policymakers and students, with their insights from both the developed and developing world, on the economic perspectives of LDCs.
| >_TEACHING RESOURCES |
New localization on Regional Trade Agreements now available
Developed by Pedro Moncarz, of Argentina's Universidad Nacional de Córdoba, and Manuel Flores and Marcel Vaillant, of Uruguay's Universidad de la República, the new module analyzes the Southern Common Market (MERCOSUR), with the aim of providing a practical example, applicable to other South-South integration processes.
The module introduces widely used indices, variables and concepts, and develops a methodological framework for analyzing the effects of regional trade preferences on imports and exports of member countries.
The module is available exclusively to Vi university members.
Three new multimedia resources now online
In Enhancing Food Security in Africa Through Science, Technology and Innovation, UNCTAD's Angel Gonzalez-Sanz, presents the findings of the Technology and Innovation Report (TIR) 2010, the first in a new series published by the Division on Technology and Logistics (DTL), home of the Virtual Institute. The report points to innovation as a way to help Africa pull out of the agricultural productivity stagnation that has caused serious problems of food insecurity and a downturn in many of the continents' economies.
The two-video package, Meeting the MDGs in the LDCs, traces the origins of the MDGs and ponders social, economic and governance questions arising from efforts to achieve them. It goes on to track the progress toward attaining the MDGs globally and in the LDCs, presents the outlook after the financial crisis, and reviews lessons learned. Leading the presentations are UNCTAD experts, Richard Kozul-Wright, Chief of the Unit on Economic Cooperation and Integration among Developing Countries, and Giovanni Valensisi, of the Division for Africa, Least Developed Countries and Special Programmes.
The last resource of the trimester, TDR 2010: Budding economic recovery still fragile, features Heiner Flassbeck, Director of UNCTAD's Division on Globalization and Development Strategies, with a presentation based on the latest Trade and Development Report. While acknowledging inroads into recovery by some emerging economies, Flassbeck addresses global imbalances, and warns that many elements of the financial picture, particularly in developed countries, resemble pre-crisis patterns.
Vi joint project on MERCOSUR now online
The analysis looks at MERCOSUR as the case of a regional integration process in transition between two periods: the 1990s neoliberal phase (which concentrated solely on trade liberalization) and the present neo-developmental phase, which now includes structural policies as a new pillar for integration. Findings indicate that the pull of each contrasting mindset leads to tensions in both the internal and external agendas.
The Financial and Economic Crisis of 2008-2009 and Developing Countries
The 12-paper collection, published by UNCTAD and Vi German member, HTW Berlin, examines how countries in the South were affected, and how they responded. It also reflects on the lessons the South should take away from the experience, and on the policy agenda necessary for supporting the interests of developing countries, the least developed countries, and emerging-market economies.
| Creative Economy Report 2010|
Subtitled, "A feasible development option," this UNCTAD report presents an updated perspective of the United Nations as a whole on creativity, knowledge and access to information as powerful engines driving economic growth and promoting development in a globalizing world. It provides empirical evidence that the creative industries are among the most dynamic emerging sectors in world trade. It also shows that the interface among creativity, culture, economics and technology, as expressed in the ability to create and circulate intellectual capital, has the potential to generate income, jobs and export earnings while at the same time contributing to social inclusion, cultural diversity and human development. The report addresses the challenge of assessing the creative economy with the objective of informing policymaking by outlining the conceptual, institutional and policy frameworks in which this economy can flourish.
UNCTAD Review of Maritime Transport 2010
World Economic Situation and Prospects 2011
After a year of fragile and uneven recovery, global economic growth started to decelerate in mid-2010, according to the report. The slowdown is expected to continue into 2011 and 2012 as weaknesses in major developed economies continue to provide a drag on the global recovery and pose risks for world economic stability in the coming years.
Academic positions available in Colombia - Deadline April 25
EAFIT was founded in 1960 as Colombia's first business school and since then it has grown into a university with more than 22,000 students in 17 undergraduate, 82 graduate and 2 PhD programs.
Candidates should have received their PhD or be near completion in a business-related field and have a demonstrated track record of publications and teaching in the areas of international business. Excellent English communication skills are a must and Spanish language abilities a plus. The recruited academic will teach international business courses in English at the undergraduate and graduate levels, and undertake research in international business. Publication in top-tier journals is expected and supported.
African agricultural journal seeks contributions
Call for papers on regionalism - Deadline April 20
All researchers associated with a European- or Latin American/Caribbean-based academic or research institution are eligible to submit papers. Submissions of detailed abstracts or nearly completed papers will be accepted until April 20.
Call for articles from Colombian Vi member's journal
The journal aims to contribute to the production of new knowledge in the academic community, in terms of the development of theory and its application to the progress of international business (as a discipline and a profession).
Previous issues are available online.
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| The UNCTAD Virtual Institute on Trade and Development is a capacity-building and knowledge-sharing programme designed to strengthen the capacities of academic institutions in developing countries and countries with economies in transition to teach and research trade issues.|
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