A partnership with academia

Building knowledge for trade and development

Vi Quarterly Newsletter


Issue #33 - June 2012 - Welcome to the Vi quarterly newsletter


  Kenyan affiliate and German think tank join the Vi
Moi University, the second oldest university in Kenya, and the German Development Institute/Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE), one of the world's leading development think tanks, joined the Virtual Institute this quarter, expanding the institutional membership to 75 universities and think tanks from 39 countries.
Moi University, Kenya

Moi University, along with core member, the University of Nairobi, make up the Kenyan representation in the Vi network. Its affiliation was spearheaded by Willy-Marcel Ndayitwayeko, a Burundian academic participating in a recent Vi trade policy analysis workshop, who is now pursuing his PhD studies in Kenya.

The university offers a BA in economics, BSc and MSc in agricultural economics and resource management, PhD courses and programmes in business administration, hospitality, and tourism management. Research revolves around agricultural trade in the East African region, and covers aspects related to marketing, competitiveness and drivers of exports.

Moi's Vi member coordinator, Mark Korir, Head of the Department of Economics, holds a PhD in agricultural economics and resource management, and teaches international commodity trade at the graduate level. His research touches upon various aspects of agricultural production and trade. Also joining from Moi is Chepchumba Chumo, who teaches undergraduate courses on agricultural trade and international economics while undertaking PhD studies in agricultural economics and resource management.

The university is particularly interested in cooperating with the Vi network on the design and implementation of an MSc programme in international economics and trade.

German Development Institute/Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE)

DIE, the ninth think tank to join the Vi network, has worked to build bridges between theory and practice since its establishment in 1964.

Active both in research and education, its research programmes include world economy and development financing; competitiveness and social development; environmental policy and management of natural resources; governance, statehood and security; and bilateral and multilateral development cooperation. Its Postgraduate Training Programme prepares German and European university graduates for careers in development cooperation organizations in Germany and abroad.

Clara Brandi, PhD, of DIE's Department of World Economy and Development Financing, has been appointed Vi member coordinator. Her research interests include developing countries and the WTO, Aid for Trade, voluntary standards and climate change. Joining Brandi are Axel Berger, Michael Brüntrup and Birgit Schmitz.


Participants from Vi's latest Trade Policy Analysis workshop

Government of Finland


Vi trade policy analysis workshop strengthens academic teaching and research in developing countries
Participating academics of the Vi workshop on trade policy analysis held October, 2011, report that their new knowledge and skills have enriched their university courses, contributed to their research work, and enhanced training and advisory services provided to their governments.

"At the Vi, we believe that the measure of success of our professional development workshops lies in the extent to which our graduates apply the new knowledge in their work," said Vi Chief, Vlasta Macku.

Lecturers from Bangladesh, Burundi, Egypt, Lao PDR, Lesotho, Nigeria and Togo, for example, used workshop materials to add valuable content to their existing courses.

"I am using materials and skills from the training for my lecture on Applied Econometrics, and I am going to use some of this material to produce a textbook on Applied Econometrics for undergraduate students," writes Phouphet Kyophilavong, of the National University of Laos.

The tools and knowledge from the workshop also facilitated research undertaken by participants from Bangladesh, Botswana, Cameroon, Egypt, South Africa, Togo, Uganda and Vietnam.

"Using some of the materials from the workshop, I was able to complete my ongoing proposal on Product Standards and Africa's Agricultural Exports, which was accepted for a grant not only for a year, but two years, under the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP)," writes Olayinka Idowu from the University of Ibadan, Nigeria.

The workshop has also been useful in strengthening the link between researchers and policymakers.

"I have so far used the techniques learnt at the workshop to present my work to policymakers in what we term 'targeted dissemination'," writes Isaac Shinyekwa, of Uganda’s Economic Policy Research Centre. "I presented two papers to this effect. Overall, there has been demand for our work by the Ministry of East African Community Affairs."

The workshop also raised interest among academics from universities which are not yet members of the Virtual Institute in establishing closer cooperation. Moi University in Kenya has already become a Vi member (see top story), and membership discussions are under way with universities in Bangladesh, Botswana, Lao PDR and South Africa.




Brazilian Vi fello, Enéas Gonçalves de Carvalho, of São Paulo State University

Students from Russia and the West Indies in Geneva for annual study tours
This quarter's Vi study tours brought 80 students and lecturers to Geneva for training programmes designed to complement their studies at five Russian member universities and at the University of the West Indies (UWI).

The study tour for the 56 students and 9 lecturers from the State University Higher School of Economics, the Moscow State Institute of International Relations, St. Petersburg State University, St. Petersburg State University of Economics and Finance, and the North-West Institute took place March 26-30. It was the fifth study tour organized for Vi's Russian members.

The students, from Master's and Bachelor's programmes in international economics, business, finance, international relations and law, took part in sessions led by experts from UNCTAD, WTO and ITC on topics such as the reform of the international financial architecture, South-South integration and Russia's accession to the WTO. The study tour also included a visit to the Permanent Mission of the Russian Federation, where Ambassador Alexei N. Borodavkin and a team of trade counselors explained their work at UNCTAD and the WTO.

The students gave top marks to this year's simulation exercise, in which they assumed the roles of government officials and private sector representatives to make recommendations in favor, or against, an investment proposal from a foreign company in a fictitious country.

"We had a wonderful opportunity to act as politicians, to understand their responsibility while making decisions crucial to the national economy," commented a student. Others added: "This exercise was an opportunity to implement the knowledge we got during the lectures into practice," and, "It made us think."

Euro-zone crisis topic of first 2012 Vi videoconference

The eighth Vi study tour in support of UWI's Master's programme in International Trade Policy took place May 14-25. Fourteen students from seven Caribbean countries participated in this year's edition.

UNCTAD experts led the first week of the programme, highlighting topics such as development diplomacy for small island developing states; the debt crisis; regional integration; food security; linkages between transnational corporations and SMEs; technology and innovation; climate change; the creative economy; and transport and trade facilitation.

During the second week, students spent time with experts at the World Trade Organization, the World Meteorological Organization, the International Trade Centre, the International Organization for Migration, the World Intellectual Property Organization, the South Centre, the International Labour Organization, and the International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development. They also had the chance to exchange views with delegates from their countries' permanent missions and regional organizations: Ambassadors Vernese-Williams (Barbados), Barberousse (Haiti), McCook (Jamaica), Suescum (Panama), Baptiste-Cornelis (Trinidad & Tobago), as well as representatives from the office of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) and the Caribbean Forum (CARIFORUM).

"I feel extremely privileged of getting to know experts in the fields of trade and meeting my country Ambassador," said one student. "(...)The level of engagement was instructive and thoughtprovoking," commented another.

Third and Fourth promotion of Senegal's Professional Master in International Trade Policy and Negotiations

Senegal Master graduates 32 in latest promotion
The Master's Programme on International Trade Policy and Negotiations of Vi core Senegalese member, Cheikh Anta Diop University, graduated another 32 students June 22.

The graduates made up the fourth promotion of the full-time programme, and the third of the continuing education edition, launched in the 2008-2009 school year.

The programme, established with the support of the Virtual Institute in 2007, has so far contributed 132 trade professionals to the country's public and private sectors.

Belarus State Economic University

Belarusian member launches new Master's programme
"We have got very good news on launching our new Master's program in English that became possible thanks to Vi efforts," writes Alena Petrushkevich, of Belarus State Economic University, about the university's new programme on International Economics and Trade Policy.

The goal of the program is to train professionals with specialist skills and knowledge of international topics, such as WTO mechanisms, regional integration and trade policy implementation, apt to serve the country's government bodies and national enterprises.

"The Vi has contributed a lot through its network activities and teaching resources," Petrushkevich said of the programme, which also received technical support from Vi partner, the WTO, and core German member, HTW Berlin – University of Applied Sciences.

The 18-month, full-time programme, which will begin November 1, encourages applications from Vi members. Applications will be accepted until October 15.



Government of Spain

Expert network takes off, latest online course graduates 6 more Vi members
Since 2010, Vi members have been benefiting from scholarships to participate in online courses on Legal Instruments of International Economic Relations and Regional Integration (IEL), thanks to funding from the Government of Spain, and Vi's partnership with its Spanish member, the University of Barcelona (UB), and the CEDDET Foundation.

So far, IEL has graduated 82 Vi members, including the six having just completed the latest Spanish edition, held April 16 to June 17. The course has also inspired cooperation between UB and other Vi members, such as the St. Petersburg State University (SPSU) in Russia, where IEL graduate and former Vi fellow, Alexandra Koval, has integrated the material into SPSU's Master's programme on the international trading system.

To provide further education and networking opportunities for IEL graduates, the partners this year launched the International Economic Relations Network . The online professional network, which currently counts with 134 members, aims to become a community of experts in international economic relations.

Congress at La Sabana

Colombian congress looks to integration as force for development
Vi Colombian affiliate, Universidad de la Sabana, chose “Multi-level integration: Catalyst for development” as the topic of its fourth biannual congress on international business management, held in Bogota April 26-27.

The congress, attracting more than 300 guests, was part of the celebrations of the 10th anniversary of the International Business Administration programme at the International School of Economic and Management Sciences of the university.

Taking one step further the approach to regional cooperation put forward by UNCTAD’s Trade and Development Report 2007, the Colombian congress aimed to address global and regional integration in its numerous dimensions, including those related to trade, finance, transport infrastructure, supply chains, and culture.

As part of the first day’s programme, Luisa Rodriguez, of UNCTAD’s Division on International Trade in Goods and Services and Commodities, contributed a presentation on economic integration and development.

Summer reading on its way!

Summer reading on its way!
The Vi team is busy putting together this year's summer publication packs, distributing nearly 2000 publications from UNCTAD and Vi partner organizations among our 75 member universities and think tanks.

In addition to several of the publications and Vi teaching materials featured in this newsletter, the pack destined for our member's libraries will include: UNCTAD's "Commodities at a Glance - Special Issue on Energy," packed with information on energy trade, price, production and consumption trends, particularly in Africa; "Who is benefiting from trade liberalization in Cape Verde?," a study that explores some of the impacts of trade policies on household's welfare in Cape Verde, with a focus on gender issues; and the sequel to "Fair and equitable Treatment," the latest in UNCTAD's Series on Issues in International Investment Agreements.




UNCTAD Virtual Institute

Scholarships available: Vi online course on trade and poverty - Apply now! The deadline is July 13
Since the call for applications went out on June 12, we have received more than 200 applications for the Vi online course on trade and poverty analysis, scheduled September 10 to November 30. Aimed at researchers and university lecturers from developing and transition countries, the course will provide participants with the empirical tools needed to assess the impact of trade and trade-related policies on poverty and income distribution. The deadline for applications is July 13, so beef up your application and apply now!

Part of the Vi's broader effort to strengthen research capacities in participants' countries, the course aims to support governments in the design of pro-poor trade policies conducive to the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals. Thanks to the support from the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs and the Government of Finland, the selected participants will be exempt from course fees. They will also receive the course CD/DVD and the Vi teaching material on trade and poverty free-of-charge.

As a hands-on technical course, the pedagogical approach emphasizes data manipulation and the use of econometric tools. Applicants must, therefore, have knowledge of STATA and trade theory and policy, as well as a Master's degree in Economics and excellent knowledge of English.

Participants with passing grades in all course activities will receive a certificate of completion. The top course graduates will be invited to submit research proposals addressing trade and poverty topics of priority interest for policymaking in their countries. A limited number of proposals will receive financial support and coaching by experts from international organizations. Priority will be given to projects conducted in cooperation with national policymakers, in order to ensure the policy relevance of the research, and facilitate the use of the findings by governments. Authors and policymakers will also be invited to present their papers at an international seminar to be held in Geneva. The best papers will be published in a book.

UNCTAD Course on Key Issues on the International Economic Agenda

UNCTAD invites applications for Western Asia regional course - Deadline: August 24
Vi members from Western Asia may apply to attend UNCTAD's flagship course on international economic issues to be held in Muscat, Oman, November 3-21. The five-module course will focus on the links between trade, investment, finance and development, and will culminate with a simulation exercise on multilateral trade negotiations.

The course will draw on UNCTAD’s analytical work and the lessons learned from its technical cooperation activities, with input from the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (UNESCWA), as well as national experts. Although the course is primarily aimed at government officials, academics can also be considered.

The course will be given in English, with simultaneous interpretation into Arabic. UNCTAD will cover local costs for all participants. Funding of travel is available for participants from lower-income countries.

Vi teaching material on contemporary issues in international macroeconomics, trade and finance - Module 1

Vi publishes module on development implications of trade theory
Hot off the press is the first module of Vi's newest teaching material, "Contemporary Issues in International Macroeconomics, Trade and Finance," written by Sebastian Dullien and Jan Priewe, of Vi core member, HTW Berlin – University of Applied Sciences, in cooperation with Vi's home at UNCTAD, the Division on Globalization and Development Strategies.

Funded by the Government of Finland, the four-module teaching resource was developed in response to a request from Vi's Ugandan member, the Makerere University Business School, as support for an envisaged Master's programme.

The first one in the series, "Beyond Traditional Comparative Advantage: Development Policy Implications of Trade Theory," begins with a review of the standard trade models (Ricardian and Heckscher-Ohlin) - their assumptions, predictions and policy conclusions - and critically examines how they have performed empirically. It then presents the advances in trade theory that help explain some of the empirical puzzles not addressed by the basic models, and looks at the implications of using these models for policy advice. The focus is on advances in modern trade theory that are of special importance for policy conclusions for developing countries, namely the productivity-enhancing competition effects of trade, learning-by-doing, technology spillovers and monopolistic competition.

University members may also download the module from the Vi website.

Vi teaching material on the economics of commodity production and trade - Module 1

First module of updated Vi teaching material on commodities just out
The Vi has engaged in the revamping of its teaching material on the "Economics of Commodities Production and Trade," first developed in 2005 as a basis for workshops held in Tanzania and Senegal. Since then, the governments of Japan, Finland and Norway have helped the Vi keep the material current and add modules on topics of interest to the members.

Just published by the Vi, in cooperation with UNCTAD's Special Unit on Commodities, is the first module of the material, "Commodity Trade and Development." Divided into three sections, the module begins with an overview of how commodity production and markets are structured. It also provides a definition of commodities and their international classifications, presents different modes of production, i.e. oil extraction, mining and farming, and describes the organization of international commodity markets. The second section analyzes commodity price trends since the 1960s, including price fluctuations and the so-called "secular decline in commodity prices," and introduces future projections for various agricultural commodities, minerals and metals. The third section looks at the developmental aspects of commodity trade - both the positive impact of natural resources on economic growth and poverty reduction, and the negative effects of commodity dependence and related structural constraints facing developing countries. It also discusses the ownership or control of resources, the distribution of resource rents and foreign land acquisition.

Vi video resources

New videos now online
This quarter's videos bring you to the launch of the Vi/WTO book on trade policy analysis, and highlight research on the relationship between globalization and the labour market.

The first video, Globalization and the Labour Market, contributed by Vi partner, Marion Jansen, of the International Labour Organization, features academics such as Elhanan Helpman (Harvard), David Autor (MIT) and Margaret McMillan (Tufts U and IFPRI) summarizing their research work on strategies to optimize employment outcomes from globalization.

In the second video package, filmed during the launch of "A Practical Guide to Trade Policy Analysis," co-authors from UNCTAD's Division on International Trade in Goods and Services and Commodities and the WTO's Economic Research and Statistics Division, outline the book's content and give ideas for using the methods and tools presented.



Vi/WTO A Practical Guide to Trade Policy Analysis

A Practical Guide to Trade Policy Analysis
Based on the belief that good policy needs to be backed by good analysis, the UNCTAD Virtual Institute and the Division on International Trade in Goods, Services and Commodities joined forces with WTO's Economic Research and Statistics Division to produce this volume, just launched on June 26.

The book, therefore, aims to help researchers and policymakers expand their knowledge of the main sources of data and the most useful empirical tools for trade and trade policy analysis in an applied, real-world context. This approach builds on the comparative advantage of the authoring organizations - the WTO and UNCTAD - both of which have a strong policy focus.

The book starts with the quantification of trade flows and trade policies (Chapters 1 and 2), which allows to describe, compare or follow the evolution of policies between sectors or countries, or over time, and provides indispensable input into the modelling exercises presented in the following chapters. Chapter 3 presents gravity models, which are useful for understanding the determinants and patterns of trade and for assessing the trade effects of certain trade policies, such as WTO accessions or the signing of preferential trade agreements. Chapters 4-6 cover simulation methodologies (partial equilibrium, general equilibrium), which can be used to "predict" the effects of trade and trade-related policies on trade flows, welfare, and the distribution of income. The accompanying DVD contains datasets and command files allowing for hands-on practice.

The book and the empirical material can also be downloaded from http://vi.unctad.org/tpa.

TRADE AND DEVELOPMENT REPORT, 1981–2011: Three Decades of Thinking Development

Trade and Development Report 1981–2011: Three Decades of Thinking Development
This publication reviews the salient concepts, ideas and recommendations put forward by the UNCTAD's flagship publication, the Trade and Development Report (TDR), since its first edition, 30 years ago.

Part 1 traces the key issues relating to the global economy and development strategies, and shows how the ideas, analytical perspectives and policy proposals expressed in the TDR have differed from "mainstream" thinking, and how they have evolved in response to new challenges arising from global economic developments. Among the topics analyzed are interdependence, macroeconomics and finance, global economic governance, and development strategies.

Part 2 of the publication comprises the contributions of the experts who participated in a panel discussion on "Thinking Development: Three Decades of the Trade and Development Report," an event held February 20 in preparation for UNCTAD's 13th conference. To keep the discussion going, a new UNCTAD blog, "Thinking Development: Commentary on ideas, events and policies in the global economy," (http://vi.unctad.org/devblog), was also launched in the context of the UNCTAD Virtual Institute and the Global Network of Development Think Tanks.

Africa Report 2012

Economic Development in Africa Report 2012 - Structural Transformation and Sustainable Development in Africa
The report addresses the challenge of sustainable development in Africa and the major dilemma it poses for many of the continent's governments.On the one hand, structural transformation is necessary for achieving substantial and broad-based improvements in human well-being. On the other hand, structural transformation, together with rising affluence and a growing population, will intensify environmental pressure because of the increasing demand for natural resources (including material and energy inputs used in production), the increasing amount of waste and pollution, and the growing reliance on non-renewable resources.

The report suggests that this dilemma can be resolved by employing a "sustainable structural transformation" development strategy which would use fewer resources per unit of economic output and mitigate the environmental impact of economic activities. It discusses why such strategy is important and how priorities can be identified, and explores strategic issues related to investment and technological development, the two key drivers of structural transformation. Finally, it offers a set of policy recommendations advocating green industrial development complemented by policies designed to increase access to sustainable energy and foster a green agricultural revolution based on the sustainable intensification of agricultural production.

Investment Policy Framework for Sustainable Development

Investment Policy Framework for Sustainable Development
A new generation of investment policies seeking to ensure that foreign investment contributes to the national sustainable development objectives for developing countries is emerging. These policies pursue a broader development policy agenda of inclusive growth and sustainable development, while building or maintaining a generally favorable investment climate.

To support countries in the formulation of such policies, UNCTAD has developed the "Investment Policy Framework for Sustainable Development," which provides a set of core principles for investment policymaking and guidelines for the design of national investment policies and international investment agreements. Considered a "living document," UNCTAD has developed a dedicated forum, IPFSD online, which invites the investment development community to exchange views, suggestions and experiences that could be integrated into the framework's future revisions.


Mobile Money for Business Development in the East African Community
This comparative study analyzes the development of mobile network-enabled money transfer and financial transaction services in the East African Community (EAC). It also provides guidelines on regulatory and legal frameworks conducive to the realization of benefits from adopting information and communication technologies (ICT).

After describing the different services proposed to consumers, the study looks at the features of a successful deployment of mobile money services, including access channels, security, consumer awareness and client support. Given that mobile money traverses several areas of regulation, the study also proposes ways of tackling the ensuing regulatory and legal challenges for policymakers.

Finally, the report discusses potential policy actions at the national level, and advocates the harmonization of regulation at the regional level to encourage the development of mobile money services beyond borders.

Extractive Industries: Optimizing Value Retention in Host Countries Extractive Industries: Optimizing Value Retention in Host Countries
Over the last years, transnational companies dealing with extractive activities have gained immense profits, in particular due to rising demand, and increasing prices of commodities. Conversely, in resource-rich developing countries, benefits for the local communities have remained small, with only limited action taken by the host governments to support economic development through the mining and energy extraction.

The publication examines strategies to enhance opportunities and create linkages between the extractive industries and the local economy. The creation of domestic value added through the employment of local resources (human and material) and services is the main focus in the current debate. The study discusses challenges in the areas of human capacity/education, infrastructure, industrial base, and good governance/business environment, and analyzes regulations and frameworks that could optimize national value creation from extractive industries.

Good practices in increasing domestic value retention from Chile, Brazil and Trinidad and Tobago are presented, together with policy and regulatory implications, at the end of the study.


ITC's enterprise survey on non-tariff measures
Non-tariff measures (NTMs) affect a large proportion of companies engaged in international trade. To gauge the business perspective on NTMs -- critical to successfully defining national strategies and policies that help overcome barriers to trade -- the International Trade Centre's programme on NTMs has been conducting company surveys in a number of developing and transition countries. The outcome is a series titled "Company Perspectives on Non-Tariff Measures."

Reports on Burkina Faso, Morocco and Sri Lanka are already available, while reports on Cambodia, Côte d'Ivoire, Egypt, Guinea, Jamaica, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Uruguay, Paraguay, Rwanda, Senegal, and Trinidad and Tobago are in the pipeline.

Results show that companies located in landlocked developing countries are the most affected, that many difficulties are related to NTMs applied by partner countries within regional integrating groupings, and that domestic bottlenecks represent a significant hurdle for exporting companies.

Countries interested in collaborating with ITC in increasing transparency and the understanding of NTMs are encouraged to contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Academics wishing to contribute to the analysis of NTM survey data in their respective countries, are invited to express their interest by sending their CV and a writing sample.

The database of official NTM regulations is available in a new version of Market Access Map, freely accessible to all users in the developing world.

Development and Globalization: Facts and Figures 2012

Development and Globalization: Facts and Figures 2012 - http://dgff.unctad.org/
UNCTAD's quadrennial report, "Development and Globalization: Facts and Figures 2012," provides a wealth of information for researchers and policymakers seeking a better understanding of the factors underlying the global slowdown of the world economy.

In a user-friendly manner, this e-publication presents the latest available statistics depicting the current state of the global economy, as well as analysis and data on trends in global trade, capital flows, migration and remittances, GDP, employment, interest and exchange rates, and commodity markets. Dynamic motion charts, statistical graphs and tables, and a glossary of the main economic and statistical concepts, make the numbers easier to interpret, and offer the readers practical tools for a better understanding of development trends and their evolution over time. The publication also includes policy recommendations to help countries tackle current economic challenges, through monetary, fiscal, income, and other measures.

Transnational Dispute Management

Call for Articles: International law journal - Deadline for submissions extended until end August
Transnational Dispute Management, a law journal published in the Netherlands, invites Vi members to contribute articles for a special issue entitled "Aligning Human Rights and Investment Protection." Edited by Ursula Kriebaum, of the University of Vienna, the issue will analyze the possibility of courts and tribunals operating in the fields of human rights and international investment protection, to take into account the concerns of the other field of law. Proposals must be submitted to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by August 31. Publication is scheduled for the fourth quarter of this year.

Red Latinoamericana de Derecho Económico Internacional

Call for Articles: EAFIT business journal
The latest issue of Revista de Negocios Internacionales, the international business e-journal of Vi Colombian member, Universidad EAFIT, features an article by one of our associate members in Tanzania, John Sinato Ombella (see story below).

The journal would like to see more contributions from Vi members, and has issued a call for articles (English or Spanish) of interest to the academic community specializing in international business in Latin America. The peer-reviewed, online journal covers the following topics: international business; international negotiation; international relations; international business management; international business research; international trade and development; international trade and climate change; international negotiation; interculturalism; international migration; emerging countries; and emerging multinationals.

For more information, contact Editor-in-Chief and Vi member coordinator, Maria Alejandra Gonzalez Perez (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)



New Vi coordinators in Benin and Colombia
Judith Monique Glidja, professor of management sciences at Vi core member, Université d’Abomey-Calavi in Benin, has taken over the coordination of Vi activities at the institution. Holder of a PhD in management and economic sciences, her research interests include: organization and human resources management, marketing and strategy, tourism, change management and social protection.

Leonardo Holguín, currently in charge of the International Business Program at Vi Colombian affiliate member, Universidad EAN, has also been appointed Vi member coordinator. An international trade professional, he has expertise in the field of customs and foreign exchange.

Maria Alejandra Gonzalez-Perez

Colombian member publishes research based on Vi joint project
Vi Colombian member coordinator, Maria Alejandra Gonzalez-Perez, of Universidad EAFIT has recently published an article in the Journal of Agribusiness in Developing and Emerging Economies. Co-authored with colleague, Santiago Gutierrez-Viana, "Cooperation in coffee markets: the case of Vietnam and Colombia," presents a cross-country study comparing two of the major coffee exporting countries in the world in terms of infrastructure, technology, added value, positioning in both domestic and global markets, among other production elements.

Based on a 2009 Vi joint project between EAFIT and Vietnam's Foreign Trade University, the study also explores marketing strategies for niche markets such as speciality coffees, and socially-, labour- and environmentally-responsible trade, as well as opportunities for cooperation between the two countries.

John Sinato Ombella

Tanzanian Vi associate publishes article in Colombian member's journal
John Sinato Ombella, Asistant Lecturer at Mzumbe University and Vi associate member since 2008, answered the call issued by Vi Colombian core university member, Universidad EAFIT. His article, "Challenges of access to clean water and healthy environment: An inter-link between huge investment projects and the surrounding local community in Tanzania," has just been published in the latest edition of Revista de Negocios Internacionales.

"I was moved to write the article after witnessing how huge investment companies harvest natural resources with very little care for environmental preservation," writes Ombella. "(EAFIT's) Journal of International Business is easily accessible online and therefore will allow companies to know the advantages of doing business, or investing, in an environmentally friendly manner."


Tilahun Esmael Kassahun, winner of IELPO scholarship


Winner of IELPO scholarship
The first winner of the two scholarships offered by Vi Spanish member, the University of Barcelona (UB), is Ethiopian lecturer, Tilahun Esmael Kassahun, of Vi core member, Addis Ababa University (AAU).

The scholarship for UB's Master in International Economic Law and Policy (IELPO), made possible by the efforts of Vi member coordinator, UB's Ramon Torrent, and the Patronat Catalunya Mon (Catalonia World Consortium), will cover the tuition fee of EUR 18,000, and provide an additional EUR 4,000 to co-fund travel and living costs.

Kassahun, who has a Master of Laws, has been teaching international trade law at Ethiopia's Haramaya University for the past few years, and more recently at AAU.

"Even though I have attended various classes and trainings in my previous academic career, none of them qualify me to be a specialist in the area that I am teaching," Kassahun explained in his application. "I am struggling to acquaint myself with this very broad discipline."

Kassahun considers IELPO one of the "best programmes that teach international economic law in the world," and hopes that this opportunity will better prepare him to teach his students, and to continue his voluntary assistance to the Ministry of Trade.

"I would like to send my deepest appreciation to all in the UNCTAD Vi for all their support and efforts with my application to study at the IELPO program," he added.

Gilles Cistac, Eduardo Mondlane University, Mozambique

Mozambican member publishes new book
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., of Vi Mozambican member, Universidade Eduardo Mondlane, has recently published "Aspectos Jurídicos da Integração Regional," in an effort to provide tools for reflection that encourage a critical examination of the legal challenges related to regional integration, and the role of the law in the process.

The book examines tools and measures needed for the harmonization of economic and commercial rights of member states of the Southern African Development Community (SADC).

Wilma Viviers

South African member announces new book and research project
Vi South African associate member, Wilma Viviers, of North-West University (NWU), has recently co-edited "Export Promotion - A Decision Support Model (DSM) Approach," a book outlining DSM, an approach "rooted in the international marketing research literature which allows to identify, in the rapidly changing international environment, the most promising realistic export opportunities for exporting countries."

The launch of the publication coincided with the kick-off of NWU's new "TraDE" research niche, headed by Viviers, one of the participants of last October's Vi workshop on trade policy analysis. The goal of "TraDE" is to promote research and post-graduate study in export promotion and development.

Franziska Pfeifer and Cristian Ugarte

New additions to the Vi team
The Vi is happy to welcome two new members to the team, Franziska Pfeifer and Cristian Ugarte.

Franziska, our new intern, joined us in June. She has a Bachelor's degree in Political Sciences from the University of Passau (Germany), and is pursuing a Master's in Latin American Studies with a special focus on tranformation and development, at the Freie Universität Berlin. During her five-month stay with us, she will provide support to Vi study tours and videoconferences, manage the distribution of publications to our members, and do some video production -- among many other things.

Cristian came a little later in the month to help us with project management, and to provide substantive support to our upcoming online course on Trade and Poverty. A PhD student in economics from the University of Geneva, he has graduate and undergraduate degrees in econometrics. His professional experience includes research and teaching, as well as consulting for organizations like the World Bank, the International Labour Organization and the African Development Bank.

The Virtual Institute welcomes any feedback, both positive and critical, about the Vi Newsletter. Is it clear? Are the links helpful? Do they work? Equally, if there is any aspect of UNCTAD's work that you would like to see reported in the newsletter, please make suggestions and we will try to cover it. We would also welcome any news items from members about their current or planned activities. Send all comments and document requests to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


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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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Virtual Institute
UNCTAD Division on Globalization and Development Strategies
Palais des Nations, 1211 Geneva, Switzerland
tel: + 41 22 917 58 23 - fax: + 41 22 917 50 00, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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