|Issue #30 - September 2011 - Welcome to the Vi quarterly newsletter|
New core members: Zambia and Benin
Copperbelt University (CBU), one of the three public universities in Zambia, offers undergraduate and graduate courses in business administration and graduate courses in economics and economic development. It also has plans to develop a BSc and an MSc in economics which would include a course on natural resources - a topic of particular relevance to the country given its mineral wealth.
The school offers two professional Master's programmes in international trade policy, management of international maritime relations, and a research Master's in international trade. Eight lecturers from the university are involved in the delivery of these programmes. They are complemented by five trade professionals, including the former ambassador of Benin in Geneva. HERCI also plans to launch a Bachelor's in international trade, and to gradually develop research on trade-related issues.
UAC's participation in the Vi will be coordinated by Pasteur Akpo, HERCI Director and coordinator of the WTO regional courses for French-speaking Africa. Akpo holds a PhD in Economics and is responsible for courses on macroeconomics, economic analysis, monetary economics and international trade. His research interests cover monetary policy, governance, competitiveness and trade policy - areas in which he also acts as consultant for national and regional bodies and international organizations.
Two more affiliate members for the Vi
The Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP), the fifth Vi member university from Brazil, is one of the largest Brazilian universities, with recognized achievements in teaching, research and outreach. Along with Vi members, UNICAMP and the University of Sao Paulo, it is one of the three universities in the state of Sao Paulo offering free higher education. It has also established research links with another Vi member in Brazil, the Institute for Applied Economic Research (IPEA).
Enéas Gonçalves de Carvalho, Vi member coordinator at UNESP, holds a PhD in Economics and is responsible for courses on globalization, FDI and international competitiveness, and on economic planning and policy. His recent research focuses on international competitiveness, R&D and the automotive industry, and investment perspectives in Brazil. He is also the Deputy Head of UNESP's graduate programme in economics.
Jigjiga University (JJU), the first affiliate from Ethiopia, offers undergraduate degrees in economics and law, which include courses on development and international economics; natural resources and environmental economics; economics of agriculture and industry; investment opportunities in Ethiopia; international trade law; investment law and intellectual property law. The Faculty of Business and Economics is planning to launch a post-graduate programme in trade policy analysis.
MUBS site of Vi workshop on international trade econometrics
Conducted by Marco Fugazza, of UNCTAD's Division on International Trade in Goods and Services and Commodities, the objective of the workshop was to introduce participants to panel data modelling to analyze international trade. The workshop was highly appreciated by the participants; results from the final evaluation showed that 100 percent of the respondents felt that the workshop had fully met or exceeded their expectations.
The course included sessions on the statistical package Stata®, the gravity model, and on linear static and dynamic models for panel data.
Lecturers in the workshop plan to integrate the new knowledge into their courses and to help them guide students in model specifications and handling data.
"I am working on a paper that requires a panel data analysis approach," said one of the participating researchers. "I will use the skills from the workshop to prepare my data and analyze it for my official work."
Chinese students in Geneva for study visits
Eighteen sessions on international trade, law, investment and development, with a special focus on China, were presented by UNCTAD experts and Vi partners, the World Trade Organization, the International Trade Centre and the World Intellectual Property Organization. The students also had the opportunity to meet with the Ambassador and delegates of the Permanent Mission of China to the WTO, who shared their experience on trade negotiations.
The programme included a simulation exercise on Foreign Direct Investment prepared by UNCTAD experts, Kalman Kalotay (Division on Investment and Enterprise) and Michael Lim (Division on Technology and Logistics), where the students took on the role of ministry officials providing advice to the president on a foreign company's offer to invest in the country.
The Vi also hosted a small delegation from Vi's newest Chinese affiliate member, the Shanghai Institute of Foreign Trade (SIFT), in July, as part of a study tour of Geneva-based international organizations arranged by SIFT's WTO Chair in cooperation with the Permanent Mission of China to the WTO.
The five students and their teacher joined UNCTAD expert and former Vi staff member, Joseph Clements, for an overview of the work of UNCTAD and the WTO. The presentation included the historical background of both organizations and the differences in their mandates, functioning and perspectives on trade.
Latest TDR kicks off new videoconference season
Having just returned from meetings of the International Monetary Fund, World Bank and G20, Flassbeck was able to bring up-to-the-minute insights into his presentation of the -- sometimes prophetic -- findings of the TDR.
Swiss project update: Vi Vietnamese member envisages new Master's
Led by WTI, the four-year project launched last year, aims to create "an academic network to develop regional competence centers for trade law and policy." The project's activities include the participation of FTU academics in WTI's Master of International Law and Economics (MILE) and its summer academy.
"The courses will be taught in English and focus on legal and economic perspectives in international trade regulation," said Dao Ngoc Tien, Head of FTU's Research and Academic Affairs Department (pictured, second from left). "WTI will help FTU develop and run the programme by sending professors to Vietnam, as well as providing scholarships for PhD, Master's and short course training in WTI."
Vi member launches UNCTAD's WIR 2011 in Senegal
This year's WIR reports a drop in foreign direct investment (FDI) in Africa. And, although Senegal's foreign FDI flows increased by US$29 million in 2010, the country did not do nearly as well as others in the continent.
"Investment flows have considerably increased in Ghana," Sané said. "Ghana is practically an emerging economy."
In terms of prospects, Sané expressed some concern. "Senegal is getting ready for elections, and in general investors hold back during pre-election years," he explained. "For 2011, I think the immediate "electoral" effect will put the brakes on investments."
EAFIT inaugurates UNCTAD room
The EAFIT-UNCTAD Hall was inaugurated July 29, at the closure of the UNCTAD Regional Course on Key Issues on the International Economic Agenda for Latin America and the Caribbean held 11-29 July.
"The appointment of this space as the EAFIT-UNCTAD Hall represents the alliance we have with this organization, the support it will continue to provide, and our interest in continuing to host the courses in our university facilities," said Natalia Escobar Pemberthy, faculty member of the Department of International Business and coordinator of the event.
Donation from Spain funds online course scholarships
"It was so difficult to choose only 30 out of the nearly 200 applications from developing-country academics and policymakers, that our Spanish partners have gracefully extended admission to 36 candidates instead," Vi Chief, Vlasta Macku said.
Representing 27 countries, the participants range from university lecturers to think-tank researchers, to diplomats and trade negotiators.
Designed from an interdisciplinary and policy-oriented perspective, the six-module course aims to provide knowledge of the basic elements of international economic law (in particular in trade and trade-related areas) in the form of a “must-have toolbox” for professionals contributing to the attainment of their countries' policy objectives.
Vi members to launch UNCTAD flagship report
The global launch, scheduled to take place October 19 in multiple countries, will be held at the Université de Yaoundé II in Cameroon, and the Universidad EAFIT in Colombia.
UOM organizes international conference
The conference aims to provide an international forum for professionals from academia and industry from developing and developed countries to share their research, ideas, and perspectives on international trade and investment.
| >_TEACHING RESOURCES |
Uganda localization on competitiveness
Available exclusively to Vi university members, the localization covers the four modules of the material, and includes discussion questions and exercises applied to various sectors in Uganda as well as a review of the literature on the subject.
Five new multimedia teaching resources now online
Developments and challenges in commodity markets, filmed during an UNCTAD expert meeting on commodities and development, gives an overview of the current situation and outlook for agricultural and extractive commodities. In part 1 of the package, Samuel Gayi, Head of UNCTAD's Special Unit on Commodities, looks at factors affecting price increases of agricultural commodities. In part 2, his colleague, Alexei Mojarov, reports on the state of metals and minerals markets, the index registering the sharpest price hike in 2009.
How much is too much? Price volatility and developing countries is a three-part resource featuring the perspectives of three international experts: Maximo Torero, Director of the International Food Policy Research Institute; Eugenio Díaz Bonilla, of the Inter-American Development Bank; and Bernard Valluis, of the Association Nationale de La Meunerie Française. Their presentations were also part of the UNCTAD expert meeting on commodities.
In STI policies and development - A primer, filmed during a Vi study tour for students of the University of the West Indies, Michael Lim, of UNCTAD's Division on Technology and Logistics (DTL), introduces concepts and policy implications related to science, technology and innovation (STI).
DTL expert, Scarlett Fondeur Gil, takes a look at new possibilities for Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) to help improve the livelihoods of people in low-income countries in Combating poverty with ICTs.
Reality check: The truth about public debt, is a two-part lecture where Ugo Panizza, of UNCTAD's Division on Globalization and Development Strategies, reveals the facts of life of public debt: why countries borrow, why they sometimes borrow too much, why they get into debt crises, and what can be done to avoid debt "explosions."
Trade and Development Report 2011
In addressing the vulnerability of developing countries to fluctuations in commodity prices -- the financialization of the commodities market -- the TDR proposes tighter international regulation of financial investors, and suggests that market surveillance authorities could be mandated to intervene directly.
World Investment Report 2011
Transnational corporations increasingly engage in NEMs, such as contract manufacturing, contract farming, services outsourcing, franchising and licensing. According to the WIR, NEMs generated over US$2 trillion in sales in 2010, much of it in developing countries -- policymakers in these countries may want to leverage this resource. The report points out that maximizing development benefits from NEMs requires policy action to: a) embed NEM policies in overall development strategies; b) build domestic productive capacities; c) facilitate and promote NEMs; and d) address related negative effects.
Economic Development in Africa Report 2011
Based on the diagnosis of African countries' industrialization patterns, the report proposes concrete steps for the design of a strategy that aims at sustainable industrial development, taking into account the differences in endowments, political and environmental conditions across countries.
World Trade Report 2011
The report begins by analyzing the history and current trends in PTAs, followed by a discussion of their political and economic causes and consequences. It then looks at their policy content, comparing their commitments to those undertaken in WTO agreements, looking at synergies and conflicts, and proposing ways of making PTAs and the multilateral trading system more coherent.
| World Economic Situation and Prospects 2011|
This joint publication by the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development and the five United Nations regional commissions analyzes the reasons behind the slower growth of developed economies after the crisis.
The UN report says that the lack of employment growth is the weakest link of the economic recovery; another factor is the volatility in currency markets which generates further macroeconomic uncertainty.
The report concludes by proposing a number of measures for sustainable recovery, which include: additional fiscal stimulus; more concrete measures to promote job growth; and deeper restructuring of financial regulations.
| ITC market analysis tools free for developing countries|
The International Trade Centre's Market Analysis Tools portal provides free access to data on trade, market access conditions, foreign direct investment and private voluntary standards for users in developing countries. Trade Map, for example, provides quarterly and monthly trade data from more than 80 countries.
Russian Vi member calls for papers
EAFIT offers scholarship for Master's to Vi student
EAFIT's MIB offers advanced studies in the areas of firm internationalization, international relations, and international conflict management, and an option for a research-oriented study mode responding to an increased demand to train consultants, researchers, and lecturers in international business in Latin America. The duration of the programme is four semesters.
The MIB is designed for graduates of international business undergraduate programs. All courses are offered in English, and students will be required to provide language proficiency certification upon entry. The scholarship will cover tuition fees for the program and for Spanish language classes. Covering studies beginning in January, 2012, the scholarship will be awarded on a semester-by-semester basis upon satisfactory completion of the previous semester.
Scholarship available for Master's in Chile
The EIPC aims to strengthen professional capacity of trade policymakers by providing conceptual and practical tools that encourage understanding based on analysis of the complexities of international economic negotiations.
Candidates for the six-trimester programme conducted in Spanish must also demonstrate competence in reading and comprehension of English.
Ethiopian Vi member publishes fellowship research
In Consequences of agricultural trade liberalization: A food insecure country’s perspective, Hailu takes a look at challenges the country may face during its accession process and the compatibility of some of its agricultural trade instruments with WTO rules. The chapter draws on the experience of two recently acceded Least Developed Countries, Cambodia and Nepal, to propose measures addressing accession issues in light of Ethiopia's food security concern.
Colombian Vi fellow's study now online
"This document has allowed us to formulate a proposal for a far-reaching study that includes a second chapter on the situation of industrial exports to 10 countries in Latin America, the United States, the European Union and Korea, and a third chapter analyzing two or three sectors of successful Colombian exports," Torres Reina said. "From this work, we hope to extract lessons for public policy."
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