A partnership with academia

Building knowledge for trade and development

Vi Quarterly Newsletter


Issue #34 - September 2012 - Welcome to the Vi quarterly newsletter


  Vi gains three new members - Network spans 41 countries
Universities in Morocco, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, and South Africa joined the Virtual Institute this quarter, expanding the network to 78 institutions from 41 countries.
Université Mohammed V - Souissi

Morocco's Université Mohammed V - Souissi (UM5S), a WTO Chair holder and host of the latest edition of the UNCTAD Course on Key Issues on the International Economic Agenda, joined the Vi in July, after discussions that began last year during the annual WTO Chairs conference in Geneva.

The third member from an Arab country (along with Egypt and Jordan) and the fifth from French-speaking Africa, UM5S, host of the WTO regional trade policy courses for several years, is ready to share its experience in teaching and researching international trade, investment and development issues.

The Vi's counterpart at the University will be the Faculty of Law, Economics and Social Sciences, which offers Master's programmes in international trade and the WTO, entrepreneurship and international development, and in environment and sustainable development. Through its centre of doctoral studies, it also provides PhD programmes, including in international trade. Research is undertaken within 16 research centres, laboratories or teams, and cover topics such as competitiveness, quantitative methods for social sciences, law and international migration, trade policy and international trade of Morocco, and environment and sustainable development.

Azzedine Ghoufrane, vice-dean of the faculty for academic and pedagogical affairs and leader of the WTO Chair team, will coordinate the cooperation with the Vi. He holds a PhD in public law and specializes in international economic law and WTO law. Also involved is a multi-disciplinary team consisting of seven of his colleagues: Amal Maaninou, Said Toufiq, Ahmed El Hajjami, Nabil Boubrahimi, Saïd Radi, Nacer Outtaj and Said Dkhissi.

University American College Skopje

The University American College Skopje (UACS) of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia joined the Vi as its 78th institutional member in September. Established in 2005, UACS is a private university providing high quality education in business, economics, law and political science, combining the best of European and American educational standards and practices.

The Vi's principal partner at UACS will be the School of Business Economics and Management (SBEM), which offers an undergraduate degree with specializations in business administration, management, marketing, finance, and economics, a Master's in management and an MBA. An SBEM research group concentrates on trade and development issues, such as the analysis of trade and free trade agreements, integration, monetary policy, and employment, often with a specific focus on the Southeast European region and the European Union.

Marjan Petreski, vice-dean for research at the School of Business Economics and Management, and a participant of Vi's online course on trade and poverty, will coordinate Vi activities at UACS. Holder of a PhD in Economics, he is responsible for courses on monetary economics, international economics, international finance, and statistics. His research interests include macroeconomic policies, trade, and the use of econometric modeling. Also joining is assistant and research associate, Simon Miloseski, whose focus areas include financial economics and management, and economic modeling and programming.

The North-West University

The North-West University (NWU), one of the largest public academic institutions in South Africa, became the 31st Vi affiliate member in August. Membership discussions began last October, when NWU's Wilma Viviers attended the Vi workshop on trade and trade policy analysis.

The Vi's work will be routed through the School of Economics (Potchefstroom Campus), in particular its newly created research team TRADE (Trade and Development), which focuses on international trade, competitiveness and development issues. The School offers Bachelor's, Master's and PhD degrees in international trade, along with degrees in economics, risk and investment management.

Cooperation between NWU and the Vi will be coordinated by Viviers, leader of the TRADE team at the university. Holder of a PhD in international trade, her interests include international trade, export promotion, enterprise competitiveness, trade logistics and facilitation, foreign direct investment and regional trade agreements. Colleagues involved in the partnership include: Waldo Krugell, Ermie Steenkamp, Sonja Grater, and Marianne Matthee.


UNCTAD Virtual Institute

Vi project on Trade and Poverty Phase 1: Online course accepts more than 100
Nearly 380 researchers from 76 countries applied to participate in the Virtual Institute's online course on trade and poverty, the first phase of a broader research capacity building project funded by the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs and the Government of Finland. The final selection includes 103 participants from 54 countries in Asia and the Pacific, Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, and Eastern Europe. About one-third are women, and 28 come from 15 Least Developed Countries. 

Designed in collaboration with UNCTAD’s Division on International Trade in Goods and Services, and Commodities; the Division on Africa, Least Developed Countries and Special Programmes; and the Division on Globalization and Development Strategies, the objective of the course is to provide participants with the empirical tools needed to assess the impact of trade and trade-related policies on poverty and income distribution. 

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. 

The end of the course, which runs September 10 to November 30, will launch the second phase of the project, which will invite top course graduates to submit proposals for trade and poverty research projects designed in consultation with national policymakers. Researchers will receive funding and mentoring, and findings will be compiled into a publication to be presented to government representatives in Geneva by the authors and their policymaker partners.



Students from Shanghai Institute of Foreign Trade visit UNCTAD

Students from Tanzania and China in Geneva for Vi study tours
The Vi organized three training programmes for 63 students and lecturers from member universities in Tanzania and China in July and September.

On July 4, the Vi hosted the second annual study visit from Chinese affiliate university member, the Shanghai Institute of Foreign Trade (SIFT). A group of 10 students majoring in a variety of international economics/trade and business topics, accompanied by lecturer, Yu Lei, met with the Chief of UNCTAD's Technical Cooperation Service, Manuela Tortora, to get acquainted with UNCTAD.

During the discussion, the students turned to national topics of interest, including environmental aspects of trade between developed and developing countries and the place of China in the world economy.

"You have taken us out of the framework of the Chinese borders," commented a student of international economics/trade, while his colleague, studying international business, added that "It is an important call for future leaders to understand that a global perspective is important for China."

Tanzanian international trade students in Geneva for fourth Vi study tour

For the University of Dar es Salaam Business School, it was the fourth study tour since the inception of the Master in International Trade programme designed with the support of the Vi in 2005. A group of 23 students and two lecturers joined this edition, involving intensive training on international economic topics of specific interest to Tanzania and the Least Developed Countries July 9-13.

Lectures were delivered by experts from UNCTAD's technical cooperation service, the Special Unit on Commodities, the divisions on Africa and LDCs, technology and logistics, and investment, and from Vi partner organizations, the International Trade Centre and the World Trade Organization.

Students got acquainted with UNCTAD's mission and current thinking on the economic role of the state in developing countries, the development of productive capacities and industrial policy, structural transformation and sustainable development in Africa, and science, technology and innovation policy in Tanzania. These conceptual topics were complemented by presentations on terms of trade, regional integration in Africa, as well as the impact of the recent crises and the commodity boom on developing and the least developed countries. Students were also introduced to UNCTAD's business linkages programme, and participated in an exercise on the selection of maritime-sector related activities that could be profitably developed in their country.

"My knowledge has been broadened and I hope once I get into policy decision positions, I will have the ability to make informed decisions and contributions," commented one study tour participant.

28 students participated in the third Virtual Institute study tour for core Chinese member, UIBE

Concluding the quarter was the the third Vi study tour for core Chinese member, the University of International Business and Economics, which brought 28 students and lecturers to Geneva September 24-28, for a programme tailored to cover international economic, business and legal topics of special relevance to China.

Experts from UNCTAD's technical cooperation service and the divisions on globalization and development strategies, trade, investment, and technology and logistics, as well as from Vi partner organizations, WTO, ITC and WIPO, delivered lectures which, according to one of the students, "broadened my horizon and enlightened me for my academic projects."

In addition to the presentations, students were able to walk in the shoes of their policymakers during a simulation exercise which tasked them with advising the president on a foreign investment proposal. They also had the opportunity to visit the Permanent Mission of China, and discuss issues of specific interest to their country in Geneva-based trade-related negotiations with the diplomats in charge of UNCTAD and WTO.

"The study tour really exceeded my expectations," affirmed one of the students.


Videoconference on World Investment Report with Colombian Vi members


Vi fall videoconference season kicks off with WIR 2012
Vi members in Colombia and Morocco joined Nicole Moussa, of UNCTAD's Division on Investment and Enterprise, for videoconference presentations of the latest UNCTAD World Investment Report.

The first videoconference, held September 10, gathered 29 international business students and lecturers at core Vi member, Universidad EAFIT, and affiliate member, Universidad EAN. The other 13 Vi university members in Colombia followed the presentation via webcast.

The second videoconference was the first activity organized for new Vi Moroccan member, Université Mohammed V - Souissi. The presentation was attended by participants from academia, the Ministry of Economy and Finance, the Ministry of Industry and Trade, the Moroccan Investment Development Agency, and the Chamber of Commerce. Mounir Benhammou, Counsellor at the Permanent Mission of Morocco, joined Moussa and Vi Chief, Vlasta Macku, at the videoconference held September 24.

This year's WIR reports a 16 percent increase in FDI flows, exceeding for the first time the pre-crisis level. The increase was registered in all regions, with economies in transition recording the highest growth rates (25 percent), followed by developed countries (21 percent) and developing countries (11 percent). While developing Asia attracted almost two thirds of total FDI inflows into developing countries, investment into Latin America and the Caribbean grew at a faster rate (16 percent, as compared with 11 percent in Asia). On the other hand, FDI inflows into Africa decreased slightly (1 percent), as the strong increase in FDI inflows into sub-Saharan Africa was offset by the 50 percent drop in FDI inflows to North Africa, as a result of the political unrest in the region.

However, "there is a great uncertainty in the global economy, which affects investment plans of companies," Moussa said. The survey of transnational corporations conducted by UNCTAD suggests that there is more pessimism than optimism with regard to the year 2012, with an improvement in expectations for 2013 and 2014. 

"We are most thankful for the videoconference this morning," commented Vi member coordinator, Maria Alejandra Gonzalez-Perez, Head of the International Business Department at Universidad EAFIT, after the event. "Our students gave us wonderful comments, and they appreciated very much having a presentation from a member of the WIR project."

For more on the WIR 2012, take a look at the featured publications in this newsletter.

Moscow State Institute of International Relations

Russian member contributes research to UNCTAD flagship investment report
The Vi last October organized a teaching visit to Russian affiliate member, the Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO), by World Investment Report team leader, Masataka Fujita, of UNCTAD's Division on Investment and Enterprise.

"During the official visit the possibility of enlarging cooperation between the university and UNCTAD was discussed," writes Anna Abramova, Vi member coordinator at MGIMO. "One of the main ideas was the possibility of involving MGIMO’s researchers in the preparation of analytical materials in the field of FDI."

The first product of the cooperation came in the form of a contribution by MGIMO professor, Galina Kostyunina, to this year's UNCTAD World Investment Report. Her research was devoted to the impact of Russia's accession to the WTO on foreign direct investment. Covering the primary, services and manufacturing sectors, with a focus on the competitiveness of local producers in some of these areas, her findings may be found on page 58 of the report.

Maria Alejandra Calle, Vi fellow from EAFIT, Colombia

Vi Colombian fellow back for more trade and environment research
Maria Alejandra Calle, of Vi core Colombian member, Universidad EAFIT, returned to Geneva for a second Vi fellowship, June 26 to July 11. Currently a PhD student at the Faculty of Law of the University College Cork, her objective was to complement her desk research by interviewing Geneva-based experts at UNCTAD, the WTO and the permanent mission of Colombia to the WTO.

Calle's research analyzes how environmental concerns raised by internationally active NGOs are reflected in WTO law and legal system. Her interest in the subject grew from her involvement in the design of the 2010 Vi study tour on trade and environment for Colombian universities, and the research work on biotrade she undertook during her first Vi fellowship in 2010, when she began to prepare her PhD proposal.

“I get my best ideas here,” Calle said.


Emerging markets focus of Vi members' workshop

Emerging markets focus of Vi members' workshop
Vi members, HTW Berlin and the University of Mauritius (MUBS), organized a workshop to further the debate on challenges and opportunities for emerging markets. The Vi arranged for a contribution from Jörg Mayer, of UNCTAD's Division on Globalization and Development Strategies.

Held June 12 to 14, in Réduit, Mauritius, the workshop tried to shed light on what defines an emerging market, and how far experiences of single emerging markets such as China, Brazil or India can be generalized for other emerging markets. A special roundtable session on the impact of the euro crisis on emerging markets counted with the participation of former Mauritius finance minister, Rama Sithanen.

Universidad EAFIT, Colombia

EAFIT holds Asia week
Universidad EAFIT organized the fifth annual conference on Asia August 16-19. The series of presentations, delivered by special guests from Chile, Colombia, Mexico and the Asian region, had for objective to familiarize the academic community and society at large with opportunities and challenges presented by a closer economic cooperation between Asia and Latin America.

Vi teaching material on the Transfer of Technology

Vi publishes updated teaching material on transfer of technology
The latest edition to the Vi's growing bookshelf is the updated version of its teaching material on the transfer of technology (TOT). Developed in cooperation with the Intellectual Property Unit of UNCTAD's Division on Investment and Enterprise, with funding from the Government of Finland, the four-module material introduces key concepts related to international technology transfer, with emphasis on the transfer from technologically advanced
countries to those lagging behind.

Module 1 presents basic terms and concepts, and introduces the various channels through which technology can be transferred, concluding with a review of measures to facilitate the process.

Module 2 explains the TOT process, and analyzes trends in cross-border transfer of technology. The module also reviews the contractual agreements used, and reviews regulatory aspects of TOT agreements.

Module 3 focuses on the complex relationship between intellectual property rights (IPRs) and international TOT. After an overview of concepts and definitions related to IPRs, it analyzes empirical studies on the role of the protection of IPRs in the stimulation of TOT and innovation.

Module 4 examines how international (multilateral, interregional, regional and bilateral) instruments/agreements deal, directly or indirectly, with TOT-related issues.

All modules include exercises and/or questions for discussion.

Vi teaching material on commodities

Modules 2 and 3 of Vi teaching material on commodities just published
The Vi has just published "Oil, gas and economic development" and "Mining and economic development" the updated second and third modules of Vi's teaching material on the Economics of Commodities Production and Trade.

Developed in collaboration with the UNCTAD Special Unit on Commodities, with financial support from the governments of Norway and Finland, Module 2 discusses production and exploration technologies, and describes the global distribution of oil and gas reserves, analyzing the features of the international oil and gas markets. It also examines the taxonomy of oil and gas companies and the differences between the operations of national enterprises and multinational corporations (MNCs). Policy suggestions on the use of the revenues from the oil and gas sector to avoid “Dutch disease,” and foster the process of development are also included.

Module 3 introduces the reader to basic facts about mining and minerals, and provides an overview of international trade in minerals and related policies. It also explains how minerals are traded, and discusses issues such as price risk management for metals and questions related to the World Trade Organization. The module concludes with the role of the mining and metals sectors in economic development and a comprehensive discussion of international policy related to mining.

Vi macroeconomics teaching modules 2 and 3 Macroeconomic teaching modules 2 and 3 just out
The latest installments of Vi's newest teaching material, "Contemporary Issues in International Macroeconomics, Trade and Finance," are now available for Vi members. Written by lecturers at Vi core German member, HTW Berlin, the development of the material was made possible thanks to funding from the Government of Finland.

Module 2 starts with an explanation of the basic theories used to analyze Dutch disease and the resource curse, citing empirical evidence from oil-exporting countries and country case studies of Angola, Botswana, Nigeria, Norway, Indonesia and Venezuela. The module also discusses macro-economic policy and policy options for effective resource management and for mitigating negative effects during booms and slumps.

Module 3 analyzes the feasibility, efficiency and effectiveness of capital controls (CC) and, in a broader sense, capital account management (CAM). After introducing the key terms and definitions, it reviews the pros and cons of capital control and liberalization, and explains the economic logic of CC/CAM, its theoretical foundations, objectives and instruments, as well as the relationship between prudential regulation of the financial sector, macroeconomic policies and capital controls. In this context, it introduces the recent change in the International Monetary Fund approach toward capital controls. The module concludes by comparing national experiences with capital controls, using case studies of Chile and China.

Vi video resources

Eurocrisis and global inequality topics of new multimedia teaching resources
The Vi team has developed two online resources based on presentations from UNCTAD and World Bank expert on topics sure to inspire interesting discussions in class.

In the first resource, Branko Milanovic, lead economist of the World Bank's research department, shares the findings of his research on global inequality. Beginning with a look at the data and methods involved in measuring inequality, he traces its progression in the last two centuries.

In the second resource, filmed during a videoconference with Vi Colombian members, Alfredo Calcagno, of UNCTAD's Division on Globalization and Development Strategies, examines the dire consequences of the global economic crisis on the euro-zone, and proposes alternatives for pulling the most affected countries from the zone's downward spiral.



Trade and Development Report 2012

Trade and Development Report 2012
The most recent issue of this UNCTAD flagship report explores the links between income distribution, growth and development; analyzes the evolution of income inequality in different regions and country groups; and proposes policies that could help improve the situation.

According to the report, global output growth is slowing down because fiscal austerity and downward pressures on real wages cause a lack of demand in developed countries, rather than achieving expected results: reduced government deficits, job creation and renewed confidence of financial markets.

After reviewing the empirical evidence on economic inequality in the world, the report discusses the main structural causes of recent changes in income distribution, including trade, technological change, and finance-led globalization. It argues that these changes do not necessarily lead to greater inequality -- their effects depend on the initial conditions and the macroeconomic, financial and labour market policies in place in the countries concerned.

The report contends that the increasing inequality acts as a break on growth, dampening demand for goods and services, reducing educational prospects and underexploiting the talent of the countries' populations. In light of this finding, the report suggests that governments should adopt policies that would preserve the share of workers in national income, which would help achieve not only social benefits, but also efficiency and economic growth. Such policies should include progressive taxation and public spending, and encourage wage increases in line with the growth of productivity.

World Investment Report 2012

World Investment Report 2012: Towards a new generation of investment policies
Complementing the analysis of foreign direct investment trends and prospects, UNCTAD chose investment policymaking and its contribution to sustainable development as the special topic of the 2012 edition of its World Investment Report (WIR).

According to the report, this "new generation" investment policies should be integrated into national development strategies, with a view to supporting the goals of sustainable development. At the international level, it is necessary to strengthen the development dimension of international investment agreements (IIAs) and balance the rights and obligations of host countries and investors.

This year's WIR includes an Investment Policy Framework for Sustainable Development (IPFSD), which maps national and international investment policy challenges, defines core principles for the design of the "new generation" investment policies, and provides guidance to national policymakers on the design of such policies, as well clause-by-clause options to strengthen the sustainable development dimension of IIAs.

The tables and charts in the text and the Annex contain a wealth of statistical data about various aspects of foreign direct investment.

World Trade Report 2012

World Trade Report 2012
After the progressive fall in tariffs since the birth of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) in 1948 and the significant rise of globalization, non-tariff measures (NTMs) have become one of the most important factors affecting current global trade patterns. This annual report from the World Trade Organization provides a historical overview of NTMs and explains the underlying reasons for their implementation. It focuses on technical barriers and sanitary and phytosanitary measures in goods as well as regulation in services.

After reviewing the sources of information related to the topic, the reports quantifies the magnitude and trade effects of the measures, suggesting that international cooperation, harmonization and mutual recognition would help in reducing the negative impact of NTMs. A legal analysis of the treatment of NTMs in the GATT/WTO dispute system is discussed in last section. The report concludes with a summary of the outstanding challenges for countries in dealing with NTMs.

Enabling the Graduation of LDCs: Enhancing the Role of Commodities and Improving Agricultural Productivity

Enabling the graduation of LDCs: Enhancing the role of commodities and improving agricultural productivity
Only three out of the 51 in the UN category of Least Developed Countries (LDC) have "graduated" in the past 40 years. In an effort to address this limited success, the Fourth United Nations Conference on the Least Developed Countries in 2011 adopted the Istanbul Programme of Action (IPoA), which includes a time-bound objective for the graduation of half of the remaining LDCs.

This UNCTAD study assesses the challenges and opportunities for meeting the criteria for graduation by 2020. Highlighting the potential role of commodities in achieving growth, the report emphasizes the need of improving agricultural productivity in LDCs. Through several case studies on issues of particular interest for LDCs, the study makes recommendations for action at the national, regional and international levels.

Who is Benefiting from Trade Liberalization in Lesotho?

Who is benefiting from trade liberalization in Lesotho?
For the last 30 years, Lesotho's manufacturing and export expansion has contributed to the inclusion of women in the work force and served to improve their employment conditions. However, the country's comparative advantage in apparel and clothing, mostly due to preferential treatment by international partners, is at risk from the potential expiration, erosion or dilution of those preferences -- changes which are likely to disproportionately affect women. In this context, this case study, written by Irene Musselli and Simonetta Zarrilli, of UNCTAD's Gender and Development Unit, proposes a wide spectrum of policy options: short-term responses would seek to postpone the elimination of preferences, while mid- and long-term policies would promote export diversification and creation of employment opportunities for workers in sectors that are vulnerable to trade changes. In the long run, the report recommends the creation of a competitive productive base with strong industrial linkages that would improve the business environment in the country and allow the rise of new income-generating activities.

The Poverty and Welfare Impacts of Climate Change Quantifying the Effects, Identifying the Adaptation Strategies

The poverty and welfare impacts of climate change: Quantifying the effects, identifying the adaptation strategies
Despite recent shocks to international markets (financial, food and fuel), forecasts tend to indicate that the Millennium Development Goal of halving extreme poverty by 2015 will be achieved. However, the gains may be endangered as climate change threatens the productivity of rural areas and consequently, the welfare of poor rural households who depend on farming for income and/or subsistence.

This recent book by the World Bank assembles the work of six researchers who examine the effects of climate change on poverty, with two chapters dedicated to the study of the short-term effects of weather shocks on the income and health of low-income rice and corn farmers in Indonesia and Mexico.

The authors look at the different channels through which climate change might affect household welfare and propose policy recommendations to mitigate negative effects.

Trade, Income Distribution and Poverty in Developing Countries: A Survey

Trade, income distribution and poverty in developing countries: A survey
Written by Amelia Santos-Paulino, of UNCTAD's Division on Africa and the Least Developed Countries and Special Programmes, the paper surveys theoretical and empirical research on the effects of trade and trade liberalization on poverty and income distribution.

After taking stock of the impact of trade liberalization on poverty, Santos-Paulino, a contributor to the design of the Virtual Institute's online course on trade and poverty, reviews the literature on trade, poverty and inequality, most of which measures welfare effects through price changes, focusing on the effect on the relative demand for domestic factors of production and the demand for skilled relative to unskilled labour. She then goes on to analyze price transmission mechanisms and discusses the relationship between trade, poverty and distribution in a broader policy context.

This resource provides a succinct overview of the research currently taking place on the relationship between trade and poverty, and is rich with ideas on new areas to investigate.


UNCTAD’s entrepreneurship policy framework
Traditionally, policymakers followed a narrow perspective of entrepreneurship policies, focusing on efficiency gains in existing enterprises, and, more recently, facilitation of new firm creation. However, with the inclusion of entrepreneurship in the development policy agenda, there is an opportunity to better link private sector development to the goals of inclusive and sustainable development.

Aiming to support developing country policymakers in the design of initiatives, measures and institutions to promote entrepreneurship, UNCTAD’s Entrepreneurship Policy Framework (EPF) suggests policy options and recommended actions in priority policy areas that have a direct impact on entrepreneurial activity. These areas include: (1) formulation of a National Entrepreneurship Strategy, (2) optimization of the regulatory environment, (3) enhancement of entrepreneurship education and skills development, (4) facilitation of technology exchange and innovation, (5) improvements in the access to finance, and (6) promotion of awareness and networking.

EPF provides checklists, good practices and case studies. It includes a user guide, a step-by-step approach to developing an entrepreneurship policy, and contains a set of indicators to measure progress.

DAAD partnership

DAAD project announces next meeting
Vi core German member, HTW Berlin, will hold a workshop November 20-22 for academics and PhD students involved in the DAAD Partnership on Economic Development Studies, which includes nine Vi member universities.

Titled "Regional Integration for Development?," the goal of the workshop is to discuss the rationale for regional integration from the perspective of developing countries.

Universidad EAFIT

Colombian core member offers Master's scholarship - Deadline October 31
Vi Colombian core member, Universidad EAFIT, is offering one merit scholarship exclusively to candidates recommended by the Virtual Institute network. The scholarship will cover tuition fees for participation in the January 2013 edition of its Master's of International Business programme (taught in English). Spanish-language courses will also be provided to the selected candidate.

The scholarship will be awarded on a semester-by-semester basis upon satisfactory completion of the previous semester.

Interested candidates should send a letter of motivation, along with a detailed CV, to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by October 31.

The Graduate Institute

Geneva Institute announces new edition of Master's in oil and gas
The Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies announces the 2013-2014 edition of its Executive Master in International Oil and Gas Leadership programme, which aims to provide management training for company executives and civil servants involved in the governance of the oil and gas sector.

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis until 31 October 2012. For information, contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Scholarships may be available for exceptional applicants.



Orlando da Silva, Universidade Federal de Viçosa, Brazil

Brazilian member returns to classrooms in Mozambique
Orlando da Silva, former Vi fellow and member coordinator at Brazilian affiliate, Federal University of Viçosa, returned to Vi core Mozambican member, Eduardo Mondlane University, in August to teach in UEM's Master's in International Trade Law programme, following a successful first teaching visit in February.

The product of a call for lecturers issued by the Vi last November on behalf of UEM, da Silva was one of three Vi network members chosen to teach in the fourth edition of this bilingual (Portuguese-English) programme.

On this occasion, da Silva delivered a module on Trade in Goods for 21 students. The topics presented included trade barriers, customs, quotas and other non-tariff measures, general exceptions and exceptions in favor of development.  

"Mozambique has a persistent trade deficit and is very much dependent on tariffs for government revenue," commented da Silva. "Teaching in this context is very interesting. The vision of trade barriers is very different from the one we have in our countries."

Henok Birhanu, Vi member coordinator, Jigjiga University

Henok Birhanu: An academic career nurtured by the Vi network
Vi affiliate member coordinator, Henok Birhanu, of Jigjiga University in Ethiopia was recently admitted to the PhD programme in international law and economics of Italian core member, Università Bocconi.

A business law post-graduate from Ethiopian core member, Addis Ababa University, he was lecturing at Jigjiga in 2011, when he was awarded a Vi scholarship to participate in the online course on Legal Instruments of International Economic Relations and Regional Integration, offered by Vi Spanish partner, the CEDDET Foundation with core member, and the University of Barcelona (UB). He was one of the top graduates of the course, and was later recruited to help moderate the course's alumni network, co-sponsored by the Vi.

"My participation in the online course was a critical point in the advancement of my academic career, as it has offered me the opportunity to exchange views and ideas with qualified professionals in the field and to learn from their experiences," writes Birhanu.

In September of that year, Birhanu was awarded a second Vi scholarship to participate in UB's International Economic Law and Policy (IELPO) LL.M programme, which "inspired me to pursue my studies and specialize in the field."

Advice from IELPO's professors, particularly from Vi member coordinator, Ramon Torrent, led him to Bocconi.

"My application, which was supported by my strong performance at IELPO, was well received by the admissions committee, which accorded me the highest point of admission (first rank) among the more than 140 applicants," he said.

Catherine Pereira, Vi member coordinator, Universidad de la Sabana, Colombia

Vi workshops spur Colombian member's publications
Catherine Pereira, Vi member coordinator at Colombia's Universidad de la Sabana reports success in applying the skills gained through Vi national workshops on trade policy analysis tools and methods.

"I have had four articles published in 2011 and 2012," Pereira writes. "The one published last week is a research product based on what I learned from a course led by Aki Kuwahara (UNCTAD Division on International Trade in Goods and Services, and Commodities) in 2009 at Universidad de La Sabana."

Now available on the Vi website, the article, "The Colombia-Canada Free Trade Area: A Partial Equilibrium Simulation," uses disaggregated trade data for 2010 and applies ex-ante partial equilibrium modeling to calculate the impact of the preferential trade agreement between Canada and Colombia. Findings show a positive effect for Colombia, with larger trade creation, and an increase in trade between the two countries of about 10 percent.

"Two other articles are forthcoming," added Pereira. "One uses what I learned from Aki, and another one using the content of a Vi course on gravity models by Nadia Rocha (WTO)."

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