A partnership with academia

Building knowledge for trade and development

Vi Quarterly Newsletter


Issue #36 - March 2013 - Welcome to the Vi quarterly newsletter



Vi network expands with seven new members
Five universities and two think tanks joined the Virtual Institute in the first quarter of the year, expanding UNCTAD's academic network membership to 86 institutions from 45 countries across the globe.

University of Nigeria (UNN)

First to join, and representing the 13th African country in the network, was the University of Nigeria (UNN), founded by Nigeria’s first president, Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, in 1960, the year in which the country gained political independence. UNN was introduced to the Vi by Hilary Nwokeabia, of UNCTAD's Division on Investment and Enterprise.

UNN’s Department of Economics offers a BSc, MSc and PhD in Economics. Its research covers a range of macroeconomic and trade issues, including Economic Partnership Agreements, the ECOWAS common external tariff, foreign portfolio investment, exchange rates, and the links between trade policy, gender and poverty.

Senior lecturer, Hyacinth Ichoku, assisted by colleagues, Moses Oduh and Chukwuma Agu, will coordinate Vi activities at the university. Holder of a PhD in economics, Ichoku teaches courses on macroeconomic policies, economics of international trade, and foreign direct investment. His research covers health economics, and various aspects of poverty analysis.

University of Cape Coast (UCC)

The second university to join was Ghana's University of Cape Coast (UCC), whose membership was initiated by UCC senior lecturer, Camara Kwasi Obeng, a graduate of the Vi trade and poverty online course held last year.

Its Department of Economics offers undergraduate and graduate programmes featuring courses in international trade theory and policy and international finance and open-economy macroeconomics, among others. Current areas of research include trade and poverty, revenue implications of trade liberalization, corporate tax competition and foreign direct investment (FDI), and South-South and North-South FDI.

Obeng, along with colleagues, Vijay K. Bhasin, Samuel Kobina Annim, William Gabriel Brafu-Insaidoo and Emmanuel Ekow Asmah, will coordinate Vi activities at UCC. Holder of a PhD in Economics, Obeng is responsible for courses on international trade theory and policy, and international finance and open-economy macroeconomics. His research includes work on the impact of trade and financial liberalization on tariff revenue, output, foreign borrowing, income distribution and poverty.

Jagannath University (JNU)

The new year and the initiative of former Vi intern, Sharif Mosharraf Hossain, brought the Vi its first university from an Asian LDC, Bangladesh's Jagannath University (JNU).

The Vi will cooperate with JNU's Department of Economics, which offers graduate and undergraduate programmes in economics, and plans to introduce PhD and M.Phil programmes in the near future to strengthen the research base and orientation of the department. Topics recently covered by faculty research include investment, export sectors' competitiveness, trade facilitation, regional integration, and poverty.

The cooperation with the Vi will be coordinated by Hossain, a graduate of the Master programme in International and Development Economics (MIDE) of Vi German core member, the University of Applied Sciences Berlin, and participant of several Vi workshops and online courses. Currently responsible for courses on international economics and advanced microeconomics, his research interests encompass regional integration in South Asia, economic relations between Bangladesh and Japan, and agricultural trade liberalization. Also joining are colleagues, Ishtiaque Selim, Tareq Muhammad Shamsul Arefin, Tabassum Zaman and Habibur Rahman.

The University of National World Economy, Bulgaria

The fourth university joining this trimester, Bulgaria's University of National and World Economy (UNWE), enlarged the Vi's Eastern European representation to five countries. UNWE's membership was the initiative of Paskal Zhelev, a graduate of the 2012 edition of the Vi-University of Barcelona-CEDDET online course on legal instruments of international economic relations and regional integration, and a participant of the 2012 edition of UNCTAD's regional course on key international economic issues.

UNWE's Faculty of International Economics and Politics offers a Bachelor’s programme in international economic relations, taught entirely in English, and Master’s programmes in international economic relations, international business (in English), international project management, international finance, and international trade and development. It also offers a PhD programme in world economy and international economic relations. Research covers a range of issues related to national and world economy.

Zhelev, who has been appointed Vi member coordinator, holds a PhD in world economy and international economic relations, and teaches courses on theory of international economic relations; international economics; Bulgaria in the global economy; and internal market of the European Union. His research covers industrial policy, international competitiveness, and European integration. He will be supported by colleague, Vasil Petkov.

University of Zimbabwe

Latest to join was the Vi's 45th core member, the University of Zimbabwe (UZ), whose membership was spearheaded by economics lecturer Albert Makochekanwa, a participant of the October 2011 Vi workshop on trade and trade policy analysis and the 2013 Vi online course on trade and poverty.

UZ's Department of Economics offers Bachelor's and Master's degrees in Economics and an executive certificate in International trade and finance. Faculty research topics include trade and poverty, particularly in the context of Southern Africa.

Makochekanwa, supported by colleague, Fanuel Hazvina, will coordinate UZ's cooperation with the Vi. A PhD in Economics, Makochekanwa teaches courses on international economics; international trade theory and policy; international trade and finance; regional integration and multilateral trading system; customs theory, management and practice; econometrics; macroeconomics; and managerial economics. His areas of research include trade flows (intra-industry and inter-industry trade, textiles, agri-food products), trade liberalization, migration/trade in services' mode IV, inequality, regional integration, and inflation/currency issues.


The Vi's network of think tanks also grew this trimester with the addition of institutions from the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Slovenia.

Finance Think

Finance Think, a recently created non-profit organization based in Skopje, covers three main research areas: (a) development economics (poverty, inequality, unemployment, access to education and health services, regulatory environment and structural reforms); (b) macroeconomic /financial policies (economic growth, investment, monetary and fiscal policies, trade and exchange rate policies); and (c) financial systems (banking, insurance and pension systems, global financial system, financial integration). It publishes a quarterly macroeconomic monitor, books and articles, and has developed an index of future economic activity. An index of financial stability is scheduled for publication in 2013.

Chief Economist, Blagica Petreski, joined by colleague, Despina Petreska, will coordinate Vi activities at Finance Think. Currently undertaking PhD studies, Petreski has a Master's degree in monetary economics, and has published on the banking system and macroeconomic policies. Her current projects relate to the analysis of systemic risks and predictions of financial fragility, and the effects of Basel III on the banks in Central and South-East Europe.

 International Center for Promotion of Enterprises

Slovenia's International Center for Promotion of Enterprises (ICPE), the Vi’s second think tank from the country, is an international intergovernmental organization whose membership is open to countries in Latin America, Asia, Africa and Europe.

ICPE’s objective is to promote international cooperation in areas related to entrepreneurship development, effective management of enterprises, privatization strategies and environment solutions. It organizes short-term trainings, international events (conferences, seminars, workshops or experts meetings targeted at businesses and policymakers), assists enterprises in adopting competitive business practices, and provides market research, as well as risk and project management services. In cooperation with the Faculty of Economics of the University of Ljubljana, ICPE also offers an MBA programme.

Nenad Stankovic supported by colleague, Giedre Sadeikaite, will act as coordinator of ICPE's cooperation with the Vi. Stankovic has a background in engineering and IT and his research interests cover ICT and telecommunications, public-private partnerships, project and risk management, and international relations.


Government of Finland

Finland ups Vi support
The Government of Finland, Vi's faithful supporter since 2006, has more than doubled last year's grant to the programme. In addition to continued co-funding of the Vi's project on trade and poverty, the EUR 226,000 will provide opportunities for the strengthening of international trade teaching and research in LDCs and low-income sub-Saharan Africa, and fund the development of teaching resources on trade and gender.

"Finland's support is key as the Vi enters the second phase of the trade and poverty project," said Vi Chief, Vlasta Macku. "It allows us to provide mentoring to the online course top graduates as they apply their new skills in cooperation with national policymakers to develop research on trade and poverty issues relevant for their countries."

The grant also enables the Vi to continue to support teaching and research capacity building activities in LDCs and sub-Saharan Africa. Following a call for proposals and 24 requests for support, the Vi has so far awarded funding for 10 activities: Cameroon, Ethiopia and Kenya will localize Vi teaching materials on trade and poverty, investment and competitiveness; Bangladesh, Ghana, Kenya and Mauritius will receive training from UNCTAD experts on trade policy analysis and trade in services through national workshops; and academics from Cameroon, Kenya and Senegal will examine the impact of trade on Africa's economic growth, develop a curriculum for a graduate programme on international trade and assess the impact of a trade agreement with Morocco on UEMOA members, during Vi fellowships in Geneva.

Member universities will also benefit from a new Vi teaching material being developed in cooperation with UNCTAD's Gender and Development Unit. The resource will provide academics with theoretical and empirical analysis of how trade impacts women in developing countries. As an introduction to the topic, the Vi will also develop multimedia presentations highlighting UNCTAD's current research in the area.


United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs

Government of Finland

Vi launches second phase of trade and poverty project
The Vi Trade and Poverty project sponsored by the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs and the Government of Finland will provide financial support and mentoring to 14 researchers studying the impact of trade on their countries' poor. The analyses will be conducted in cooperation with national policymakers representing 13 countries.

Three researchers from Latin America (Argentina and Costa Rica), will focus on food crops and environmental products policies. The five African researchers from Benin, Congo, Kenya, Mauritius and Nigeria will assess the effect of non-tariff barriers and external tariffs on agricultural products. In Asia, projects from China, Myanmar, the Philippines and Vietnam center on agriculture and currency policies. And the researcher from Macedonia will examine the effectiveness of his country's agricultural subsidies.

"The topics covered are specific to each of the countries," said Vi economist, Cristian Ugarte. "Nonetheless, recent events such as the food price crisis heavily influenced the choice of topics."

UNCTAD experts, Rashmi Banga, Piergiuseppe Fortunato, Marco Fugazza, Alessandro Nicita, Amelia Santos-Paulino and Claudia Trentini, as well as WTO's Marion Jansen and Vi trade and poverty course co-author, Nicolás Depetris Chauvin, will mentor the researchers as they apply the skills gained during the first phase of the Vi project.

A mid-way workshop to be held June 26 - 28 in Geneva will allow researchers the opportunity to present their progress and get feedback from Geneva experts and fellow project participants.

  Belarus, Colombia, Kenya and Peru join first trimester Vi videoconferences
The Vi reached a combined audience of more than 200 students and lecturers through six videoconference presentations of UNCTAD's research on macroecomic policies, investment, and the information economy for Vi member universities in Belarus, Colombia, Kenya and Peru.
Vi videoconference on TDR 12 with Nicolas Maystre

The first Vi videoconference of the year was also the first one organized for Vi core member, the Belarus State Economic University (BSEU), which has added the virtual exchanges with UNCTAD as a component of its recently launched Master's in International Economics and Trade Policy. Hosting by the United Nations Development Programme offices in Minsk enabled BSEU to participate in three Vi videoconferences this quarter.

On February 8, BSEU heard from Nicolas Maystre (pictured, left), of UNCTAD's Division on Globalization and Development Strategies, who delivered a lecture on the global economic outlook and policy challenges, based on the findings of the latest Trade and Development Report (TDR).

"The world economy is in a fragile stance, with a growing number of developed economies falling into double-dip recessions and others stuck in low growth," Maystre told the 22 BSEU students and lecturers. "Much of Europe is trapped in a vicious cycle of debt, financial fragility, fiscal austerity and high unemployment. At the same time, growth in the major developing and transition economies (Brazil, China and India) has slowed significantly. One notable exception to the overall trend is Africa, where growth in 2012 was stronger than in 2011 as North Africa recovered from political turmoil."

According to the TDR, breaking out of this vicious cycle will require more forceful and concerted policy action at the global level. A fundamental policy shift from fiscal austerity toward fiscal policy oriented at job creation and growth, better coordination of monetary policies and more stringent financial sector reforms is needed.

Vi videoconference on WIR12 with Kalman Kalotay


Then, on February 18, a group of 25 BSEU students and lecturers joined Kalman Kalotay, of UNCTAD’s Division on Investment and Enterprise, for a discussion of global and regional foreign direct investment (FDI) trends, based on the 2012 edition of the World Investment Report.

Kalotay reported a drop in global FDI of 18 percent -- about USD 1.3 trillion -- in 2012, attributed in large part to slow economic recovery in developed countries. However, with USD 680 billion, “developing countries surpassed developed countries in FDI inflows for the first time since 1971, when UNCTAD started recording FDI data." In transition economies, inflows remained flat in 2012, with a slight decline in Russia.

But the outlook for the region is positive, as CIS economies benefit from natural-resource-seeking FDI and South-East Europe attracts manufacturing FDI. Given the more investor-friendly business environment in the region, new privatization programmes, Russia’s accession to the WTO, and the rise in investments from other developing countries, "FDI flows to the region are expected to continue to grow in the medium term," he said.

Virtual Institute Chief, Vlasta Macku (left) and Torbjorn Fredriksson during videoconference on Information Economy Report 2012 for BSEU

BSEU's virtual exchanges with UNCTAD then turned to the software industry on March 19, as a group of 13 attended a lecture by Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) section Chief, Torbjörn Fredriksson, based on the Information Economy Report (IER) 2012.

"With the growing role of software in more goods and services, it is becoming increasingly important for developing countries to have the capacity to adopt, adapt and develop software to suit their specific needs," Fredriksson said, introducing the topic.

According to the IER, the software sector presents a number of opportunities for developing countries. Characterized by low capital entry barriers, it can generate employment, particularly for the skilled youth, increase export revenues and serve as a source of innovation and increased productivity in the economy.

The IER recommends that governments strive to support access to affordable ICT infrastructure, education of the workforce and an adequate legal framework for intellectual property rights protection and electronic transactions. They should also leverage their role as major potential customers for local software developers through public procurement systems, for example.

Videoconference on IER12 with Cecile Barayre

Another first for the Vi this quarter was the videoconference organized for 17 academics and students of Vi Kenyan affiliate member, Moi University, also interested in the findings of the IER. The lecture was conducted by IER co-author, Cécile Barayre-El Shami (pictured, left).

"Kenya is a leader in the development of mobile money services, and, together with Uganda, it has also been heading the development of e-commerce cyberlaws in the East African Community." However, with four-fifths of global spending on computer software and services currently taking place in developed countries, Africa's one-percent share "may slow down the passage of the continent to the information economy," Barayre warned.

Nevertheless, several African countries have already made progress in the development of their software and IT services sectors. Some of them, such as Morocco, are more export-oriented, whereas others, such as Kenya, South Africa, Cameroon, Egypt, Algeria and Tunisia, mainly cater to the needs of their domestic markets.

Pictured from left: Juan Camilo Saretzki-Forero, First Secretary of the Permanent Mission of Colombia to the UN, Scarlett Fondeur Gil, UNCTAD and Vlasta Macku, Virtual Institute

The software industry was also the topic chosen by two Colombian affiliate members for this quarter's videoconference, held March 12, and drawing an audience of about 100 students and lecturers for an exchange with IER co-author, Scarlett Fondeur Gil (pictured, center), and Juan Camilo Saretzki-Forero, First Secretary of the Permanent Mission of Colombia to the UN.

"Thanks to the increasing demand for software from social networks, online work and cloud computing, as well as the growing use of free and open source software, there is today more scope even for small-scale developers in developing countries to participate in software development and production," Fondeur Gil told the participants, most of them specializing in international business at Universidad de la Sabana and Universidad EAN.

In Latin America and the Caribbean region, Costa Rica, Uruguay and Brazil are already benefitting from the opportunities of the software industry, although their market orientation differs. While the first two focus on exports, in Brazil the large local market is more significant.

IER 2012 co-author, Scarlett Fondeur Gil (right) and Vi's Susana Olivares during videoconfernce with PUCP

Fondeur Gil (pictured, left) also explored the economic potential of the software sector for developing countries during a Vi videoconference with core university member, Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú (PUCP) on March 27. Attended by 33 and webcasted to a wider academic audience by PUCP, the videoconference featured commentary from national information and communication technology (ICT) experts.

“The current state of technology is unprecedented,” Fondeur Gil said. “The high penetration rate of mobile phones and the advent of smartphones and social media, for example, have generated a strong appetite for new software applications, and opened opportunities in the industry for developing countries.”

Despite the sector’s characteristic low capital barriers to entry and potential to generate employment, developing countries in general have not yet taken full advantage of its opportunities. Their spending in software is also minimal, with Latin American countries devoting an average of only 3 percent of their total ICT expenditure for this purpose.

The IER recommends that developing countries begin by taking advantage of the domestic market, encouraging the use of locally developed applications and free and open source software (FOSS) -- which translates into cost savings, and provides opportunities for innovation, learning and the creation of tailor-made solutions by local software developers.

Vi German member project supports new Belarusian Master’s

Vi teaching materials and German member project supports new Belarusian Master's
The DAAD Partnership on Economic Development Studies, led by core German member, HTW Berlin, and involving nine Vi member universities, has provided training for teaching staff, advice on curriculum design and visiting lecturers for the recently launched Master's in International Economics and Trade Policy of Vi core member, Belarus State Economic University (BSEU).

In addition to the four fellowships awarded to BSEU lecturers in the past three years, the German project supported the launch of the new Master's by funding guest lecturers from Vi core members, India's Jawaharlal Nehru University and the University of Mauritius.

"We have also benefited from the assistance of the Vi in the revision of the courses syllabi, obtaining reading materials and Internet resources for the courses and UNCTAD publications for our library, and providing videoconferences with experts," writes BSEU's Vi member coordinator, Alena Petrushkevich. "We have found the teaching materials on international economics and macroeconomics issued jointly by DAAD Partnership and the Vi very helpful for two of our courses."

Third Vi study visit organized for students from core Spanish member, the University of Barcelona

Spanish core member Master's students in Geneva for Vi study visit
The third Vi study visit for core Spanish member, the University of Barcelona (UB), held February 19, attracted 28 students from UB’s Master's in International Economic Law and Policy (IELPO). The students, from 25 countries in Europe, Latin America, Africa and Asia, included five from Vi member universities in China, Ethiopia, the Russian Federation, Vietnam and the West Indies, who received scholarships from the Patronat Catalunya Món and UB, to study in IELPO.

UNCTAD experts, Hamed El-Kady, of UNCTAD's Division on Investment and Enterprise, and Rashmi Banga, of the Division on Globalization and Development Strategies, introduced to students to the complex legal regime for foreign direct investment, and the role of global value chains (GVCs) in economic development.

Vi core Colombian member hosts UNCTAD regional course

Vi Colombian core member hosts UNCTAD regional course
Medellín's Universidad EAFIT, Vi's core Colombian university member, for the third time hosted UNCTAD's Course on Key Issues on the International Economic Agenda. This 26th edition of the course trained government officials from 13 countries in the Latin America and Caribbean region.

Held February 4 - 22 in EAFIT's "UNCTAD" conference room, the six-module course included presentations on macroeconomic policies, investment, trade facilitation, the multilateral trading system and the knowledge economy from experts at UNCTAD and the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean.

For Vi member coordinator, Maria Alejandra Gonzalez Perez, hosting the course is an opportunity to develop new tools to push forward Colombia's development. "To be able to count with high-level officials trained in these topics means to have more power to negotiate internationally," she said. "In addition, to be the site of the training gives us, professors and research assistants, the opportunity to attend the training sessions."

University of Dar es Salaam Business School

Extractive industries Vi national workshop for Tanzania - 5 places available
The Vi, with funding from the One UN Fund for Tanzania, will offer a workshop on the natural resources sector for academics and students of core university member, the University of Dar es Salaam (UDSM) Business School April 25-26.

Samuel Gayi, Head of UNCTAD's Special Unit on Commodities, will deliver the training programme, which will cover development challenges and policy options for managing the extractive sector, options available for increasing government revenue and best practices and lessons from successful economies. Participants will also engage in a group exercise on drafting an extractive sector development strategy for Tanzania.

UDSM has agreed to extend an invitation to local academics interested in participating. To apply for the five available places, contact Vi member coordinator, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

North-West University

Trade analysis software Vi national workshop for South Africa - 4 places available
Vi economist, Cristian Ugarte, will lead a workshop on the empirics of trade using the STATA® data analysis and statistical software for academics of affiliate member, the North-West University (NWU), 22-25 April.

Based on the gravity model, the course will introduce tools, methods and relevant datasets for the analysis of bilateral trade. A hands-on exercise on trade and migration will allow participants to put their new skills to the test.

NWU has generously offered four places in the workshop for local academics. To apply, contact Vi member coordinator, Wilma Viviers.

Jagannath University

Gravity model Vi national workshop for Bangladesh - 3 places available
UNCTAD expert, Marco Fugazza, of UNCTAD's Division on International Trade in Goods and Services and Commodities, will lead a Vi workshop on the econometric analysis of bilateral trade flows for new Vi core Bangladeshi member, Jagannath University.

Funded by the Government of Finland, the workshop will introduce theoretical and empirical bases for the gravity model of trade, and will include hands-on exercises on the impact of trade agreements.

JNU has three places available for local academics. To apply, contact Vi member coordinator, Sharif Mosharraf Hossain.

UNCTAD Virtual Institute

Spring study tours scheduled for students from the Russian Federation and the Caribbean
The Vi spring season traditionally brings to Geneva students from five Vi member universities in Russia and countries in the Caribbean, to attend tailored training programmes at UNCTAD and other Geneva-based organizations.

The Vi study tour for students and lecturers from the Higher School of Economics, the Moscow State Institute of International Relations, the St. Petersburg State University, the St. Petersburg State University of Economics and the North-West Institute, will take place April 15-19. Training sessions at UNCTAD will cover trade logistics and trade facilitation, corporate social responsibility, foreign direct investment (FDI), technology, climate change, the international financial architecture, and a simulation exercise on FDI. Students will also hear from experts at Vi partners, the World Trade Organization and the International Trade Centre, and from country representatives at the Permanent mission of the Russian Federation in Geneva.

The annual Vi study tour for the University of the West Indies, whose programme is now being finalized, will host 21 students and lecturers May 13-24.

UNCTAD Course on Key Issues on the International Economic Agenda

UNCTAD invites applications for Africa regional course on trade and development - Deadline: May 17
African Vi members may apply to attend UNCTAD's flagship course on international economic issues, which will be hosted by Vi core member, the University of Mauritius, July 15 - August 2.

The six-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 be given in English, with simultaneous interpretation into French.

Although the course is primarily aimed at government officials, academics can also be considered. UNCTAD will cover local costs for all participants. Funding of travel is available for participants from the Least Developed Countries.

Virtual Institute Multimedia Teaching Materials

New Vi multimedia resources now online
The latest multimedia teaching resources developed by the Vi team feature presentations on investment and on trade flows by UNCTAD and WTO experts.

The first resource, WIR 2012: Towards a new generation of investment policies, is a multi-language package of video lectures by Nicole Moussa and Astrit Sulstarova, of UNCTAD’s Division on Investment and Enterprise. Based on UNCTAD's World Investment Report 2012, and recorded during Vi videoconferences with members in Colombia, Jordan and Morocco, the presentations are available in English, French and Spanish.

In the second resource, Analyzing trade flows: What, how much and with whom?, Cosimo Beverelli, of the World Trade Organization's Economic Research and Statistics Division, explains how to determine a country's trade composition, export diversification/concentration and comparative advantage, and examines indicators for regional trade and trade complementarity.



UNCTAD Virtual Institute

Be the first to know!
Thanks to the fabulous work of our Vi interns, our digital library is filled with the latest publications on international trade authored by Vi members and experts at UNCTAD and Vi partner organizations, the WTO, ITC, the World Bank, and regional UN commissions, among others.

As soon as we update the library, you receive an e-mail alerting you that a new publication in your area of interest is available -- but only if you're signed up!

To make sure you stay on top of your topic, simply log in to the site; select "Profile" on your user menu; select the "Subscriptions" tab, and check the categories that interest you; then click on the "Update" button at the bottom of the page.

While you're at it, don't forget to make sure your contact information is up to date and that you have uploaded a current photo and CV. The more we know about each other, the more we can do together!



World Tariff Profiles 2012

World Tariff Profiles 2012
This joint publication of ITC, UNCTAD and WTO is an annual compilation of most favoured nation (MFN) tariffs applied by more than 150 WTO members and some non-members states. Tariffs in each country are standardized and presented following the Harmonized System (HS) nomenclature, which allows to easily compare applied tariffs between countries and sectors. Ad-valorem equivalents (AVEs) and non-ad valorem tariffs are integrated in the tariff presentations, where data is available.

Now in its seventh edition the publication first presents summary statistics across countries and allows rough comparisons between agricultural and non-agricultural products for all countries. Results are aggregated at the country level but raw data for calculations, prior to aggregation, are at the HS 6-digit level. The second section presents a full disaggregation by sector for each country, and briefly summarizes market access conditions for exports of the country -- this is intended to reflect the market protection in place in each country and also the protection faced by each country as an exporter. The last section contains summary tables on concessions of Other Duties and Charges (ODCs) as an evaluation exercise of the implementation of commitments under the Agreement on Agriculture (AoA). Among the measures reviewed are domestic support measures, tariff quotas, recourse to Art. 5 of AoA (special safeguards) and export subsidies. Data sources are listed at the end of the publication.

Trade Costs in the Developing World 1995-2010

Trade Costs in the Developing World: 1995 – 2010
With tariffs in world trade at historical lows, the pattern of bilateral trade and investment and a country's capacity to take part in regional and global production networks are increasingly influenced by trade costs related to non-tariff barriers, poor infrastructure, air and maritime transport connectivity, transport and logistics services, among other factors. In 2009, trade costs for low-income countries were around 275 percent ad valorem -- on average around 2.5 times higher than those in high-income countries. Trade costs are therefore of great importance from a policy perspective.

This paper uses newly collected data on trade and production in 178 countries to produce estimates of trade costs in agriculture and manufacturing for the period of 1995-2010. Findings indicate that trade costs are falling noticeably faster in developed countries than in the developing countries, increasing the relative isolation of the latter. In particular, sub-Saharan African countries and low-income countries remain subject to very high levels of trade costs.

The authors single out two sources of trade costs that deserve policy attention. The first is trade facilitation and logistics performance, whose combined effect is comparable to that of geographical distance. The second factor relates to the so-called "behind-the-border" measures, which act as barriers to entry for developing countries, thus highlighting the need for the trade policy agenda to expand into this area.

Global Value Chains and Development: Investment and Value Added Trade in the Global Economy

Global Value Chains and Development: Investment and Value Added Trade in the Global Economy
Global trade in goods and services includes a significant amount of double counting. Raw material extracted in one country may be exported first to a second country for processing, then exported again to a manufacturing plant in a third country, which may then export it to a fourth for final consumption. The original raw material is thus counted several times in world exports.

To help address this problem, UNCTAD, in cooperation with the Eora project based at the University of Sydney, established a new dataset of global value chains (GVCs) that covers 187 countries and a broad range of industries and activities. Based on these data, this publication maps the distribution of value added in global trade, shows where value is created in global production chains and how transnational corporations shape patterns of value added trade through their equity investments and contractual arrangements.

According to the report, value chains currently account for around 80 percent of global trade. Some 28 percent of gross exports consist of value added, with service sector activities contributing almost half of this figure. Developing countries account for over 40 percent of global value added trade, up from 20 percent in 1990. The average contribution of value added trade to GDP is higher in developing economies (28 percent) than in developed countries (18 percent). Consequently, domestic value added created from GVC trade can be very significant for developing countries. The report concludes with some important policy implications of this phenomenon for developing countries.

The dataset will be made available later in the year.

Mexico's agriculture development: Perspectives and outlook

Mexico's agriculture development: Perspectives and outlook
Prepared by UNCTAD's Division on International Trade in Goods and Services and Commodities, and the Special Unit on Commodities, the report provides extensive analysis of the agricultural sector in Mexico, and proposes policy recommendations for enhancing its development impact.

Organized into four chapters, it begins with an assessment of agricultural trade and policy issues. Chapter two reviews current public policies and support programs and services, market value chains, food security, market access and agri-foods standards, and proposes public and private policy choices. Chapter three takes stock of competition law and policy factors, with a detailed analysis of corn production and commercialization. The final chapter proposes the promotion of biofuels to enhance income opportunities and improve access to energy services.

A Preliminary Analysis on Newly Collected Data on Non-tariff Measures

A Preliminary Analysis on Newly Collected Data on Non-tariff Measures
Using data collected by UNCTAD and the World Bank, and based on frequency indices and coverage ratios, this study, co-authored by UNCTAD's Alessandro Nicita, analyzes the use of non-tariff measures (NTMs) in 26 countries.

Findings indicate that the use of NTMs is increasing, and that in some sectos, such as agriculture, sanitary and phyto-sanitary measures affect more than 60 percent of all products. Technical barriers to trade are found to be the most extensively used NTM, with around one-third of international trade flows affected by a measure of this kind. Among quantity controls applied by countries (non-technical measures), non-automatic licenses is the most widely used measure, affecting one-fifth of international trade.

The authors also observe a correlation between the use of NTMs and traditional trade policy measures, which may indicate that "NTMs have been used, at least to some degree, as substitutes to tariffs in order to continue protecting key economic sectors in spite of the tariff liberalization of the last 10 years."

Russia's accession to the WTO: Major commitments, possible implications

Russia's accession to the WTO: Major commitments, possible implications
Prepared by a team at Vi Russian affiliate member, St. Petersburg State University, with support from the International Trade Centre's Business and Trade Policy Section, this study provides insight into the terms of Russia's accession to the WTO in the area of trade in goods and services.

The authors include information on the business implications of Russia's WTO accession commitments in the sectors that were considered more "sensitive" during the negotiations, such as car manufacturing, agriculture (especially meat production), financial services, and the energy industry. The study also describes the reforms undertaken by Russia in the run-up to WTO accession, and concludes with some reflections about the relationship between the country's WTO accession and the integration processes in the Commonwealth of Independent States countries, in particular the customs union with Belarus and Kazakhstan. The publication is available in English and Russian.

ESCAP-World Bank Trade Cost Database

ESCAP-World Bank Trade Cost Database - http://www.unescap.org/tid/artnet/trade-costs.asp
The Trade and Investment Division of UNESCAP and the World Bank have created a joint database of bilateral trade cost estimates for agriculture and manufactured goods covering 178 countries for the period 1995-2010.Estimates are calculated using the Inverse Gravity Framework proposed by Novy (2009), which uses trade and production data for the estimation of trade costs for each country pair.

The database is available in STATA and Excel formats.


Universidad EAFIT

Profesor Asociado o Titular, Colombia - Fecha límite: 12 de abril
El departamento de Organización y Gerencia de la Universidad EAFIT ha lanzado una convocatoria para una plaza de Profesor Asociado o Titular para iniciar funciones académicas en Julio de 2013. El profesor seleccionado ocupará una plaza de tiempo completo en las áreas de Gerencia y en Metodología de Investigación del Departamento de Organización y Gerencia.

Requisitos incluyen: Título de doctorado en áreas afines a la Administración y la Gerencia; experiencia mínima de 3 años en docencia e investigación en el área de Gerencia y Metodología de Investigación o de 5 años de experiencia profesional en esta área; dominio del inglés (mínimo nivel B2); publicaciones académicas o desarrollos en esta área (mínimo 5 productos nuevos de conocimiento en los últimos 4 años).

Para obtener más información, contactar a This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Full MIB scholarship in Medellín
One candidate recommended by an academic member of the UNCTAD Virtual Institute will receive a scholarship covering all tuition and fees of Universidad EAFIT's four-semester long Master in International Business Programme, set to begin in July. Selection will be based on previous academic results, work/life experience, English language certification, clarity in the required research project proposal, and diversity enhancement. The scholarship will be awarded on a semester-by-semester basis upon satisfactory completion of the previous semester.

For more information, contact: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Call for papers on international law - Deadline: May 3
The EAFIT Journal of International Law's June edition is accepting articles in English, Spanish or French, of varying lengths and styles from professors, practitioners, and law students from around the world.

For more information, take a look at the author's guidelines, or contact Rafael Tamayo Franco.

Inter-American Development Bank

Research assistants in Washington - Deadline: April 12
Recent economics graduates (preferably with a Master's) may apply for the Inter-American Development Bank's Research Fellowship Programme, which provides selected candidates with the opportunity to work with its researchers in the preparation of papers, reports, and presentations; identify, compile, and organize databases; perform econometric and statistical analyses; prepare literature reviews; participate in academic discussions on research findings.

Candidates must be proficient in at least two of IDB's working languages (Spanish, English, Portuguese and French), have good writing skills and knowledge of PowerPoint and Excel. The one-year fellowships begin between June 1 and September 1.

Applications must be submitted online by April 12.

Graduate Institute

Workshop for PhD candidates - Deadline: April 30
The Graduate Institute - Geneva invites Vi members to apply for its Global South Doctoral Workshop, to be held November 30 to December 7 in Mexico City.

The workshop is an opportunity for PhD students from Africa, Asia and Latin America researching topics in international and development studies from a southern perspective, to present their research and to benefit from the expertise of the Institute's faculty and PhD candidates.

Applications for the all-expenses-paid week-long workshop should be submitted no later than April 30.

For more information, contact: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Universidad de la Sabana

Visiting professor, Colombia - Deadline May 15
The Program of International Business Administration at Vi Colombian affiliate member, Universidad de La Sabana, invites applications for a six-month visiting professor appointment beginning July 15.

The program’s priorities include international trade, international relations, multicultural management, licit and illicit trade, migration, and SMEs. The successful candidate will teach one course during the semester, focusing on Latin America.

Applicants should hold a Ph.D. in one of the following disciplines: international relations, finance, economics, political science, geography or cultural studies.

To apply, send CV, cover letter and research sample by May 15 to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., Director of Business and Trade Area or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., Assistant Professor.

University of Barcelona

Partial scholarships at Master's in Spain - Deadline May 15
Vi core Spanish member, the University of Barcelona, is offering Vi members two partial scholarships for its "Master en Estudios Internacionales." The 10-module programme (October 2013 - November 2014) is aimed at postgraduate students who want to specialize in the study of the international society from a multidisciplinary perspective. Very good oral and written skills in Spanish are required. Part of the programme may be followed at a distance (as of June/July).

Interested candidates should fill out the application form at http://www.ub.edu/mei/en/solicitud-de-admision/, and upload the required documents (in a .zip file) by May 15. To qualify for the scholarships, Vi members must enter “Virtual Institute scholarship” in the field titled “Observaciones.” In the “Carta exposición de motivos por los cuales se desea realizar el Máster,” please also indicate your interest in the scholarship.

For more information, contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


New edition of online course on legal instruments - Deadline: May 31
The Vi and its Spanish partner, the Fundación Centro de Educación a Distancia para el Desarrollo Económico y Tecnológico (CEDDET), are pleased to invite applications for the fourth edition of the online course, Legal Instruments of International Economic Relations and Regional Integration, offered in collaboration with Vi core Spanish member, the University of Barcelona.

Designed from an interdisciplinary and policy-oriented perspective, the six-module training aims to provide academics and policymakers with a "must-have toolbox" of the basic elements of international economic law. The program runs June 6 to August 4.

Full tuition for the course is €450. To apply, register online by May 31. For further information, or assistance with the registration process, kindly contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

World Trade Organization

WTO Essay Award for Young Economists - Deadline June 1
Young Vi PhDs may compete for an award of CHF 5,000 to be presented in September at the annual conference of the European Trade Study Group, a forum for academic discussion and research on international trade among European universities and research institutes.

Papers must address issues related to trade policy and international trade cooperation. The author(s) must have completed or be engaged in the completion of a PhD degree and, if over 30 years of age, be no more than two years past a PhD defense. In the case of co-authored papers, this requirement shall apply to all authors. Essays may not exceed 15,000 words.

Submissions, including CV of author(s), must be sent to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by June 1.

ITAM, FLACSO, Universidad de Chile

Call for short films on agricultural trade - Deadline: June 15
Vi core members in Argentina, Chile and Mexico have issued a call for short films in Spanish or Portuguese for their joint conference on agricultural trade in Latin America, "Comercio agrícola y América Latina: Cuestiones, controversias y perspectivas," which will take place September 19-20 in Buenos Aires.

Short films (2-10 minutes in duration) addressing conference themes will be accepted until June 15. The top three films will receive a prize of USD 1,500.

To submit applications, or for more information, contact Luis Gil Abinader at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

World Trade Institute

Half off Summer Academy in Switzerland - Applications accepted now
Vi core Swiss member, the World Trade Institute offers a 50 percent discount off tuition fees for Vi members interested in participating in its 11th Summer Academy, this year focusing on international trade regulation. The Summer Academy's five one-week modules are scheduled July 8 - August 9. Full tuition for each module is CHF 1,300.

Admission is limited to 65 participants per week. Applicants must have a strong command of English, and have completed an undergraduate degree or be about to graduate. To apply, send your application form and CV to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Elizabeth Torres Tenorio, new Colombian affiliate coordinator at Universidad Jorge Tadeo Lozano

New affiliate coordinator in Colombia
Vi affiliate Colombian member, Universidad de Bogotá Jorge Tadeo Lozano (UJTL), has appointed Elizabeth Torres Tenorio, dean of its International Trade Program, as Vi member coordinator.

Torres has a bachelor's degree in Economics from Colombian Vi affiliate member, Universidad del Valle, and a Master of Business Administration (MBA) with specialization in Financial Management from the National University of San Diego, California, USA. Before joining UJTL, she was director of the undergraduate programme in finance and international trade at Vi affiliate member, Universidad del Rosario.

Neil Rankin

New Affiliate coordinator in South Africa
Associate economics professor, Neil Rankin, has taken over Vi member coordination activities at affiliate South African member, Stellenbosch University.

An applied micro-economist working on labour market and firm related issues, including labour demand, he was the founding Director of the African Micro-Economic Research Unit at the University of the Witwatersrand. He also worked as a research officer for the Centre for the Study of African Economies at the University of Oxford while completing his doctorate.

Eveliina Kauppinen

New Vi intern
Eveliina Kauppinen joined the Vi team in February for a three-month internship. She has a Bachelor’s degree in English language and Translation from the University of Eastern Finland, where she is also completing a Master’s degree in Translation Studies in French and English with a specialization in Interpretation and Business studies.

During her stay with us, she will contribute to the Vi website by keeping the digital library up to date, provide support to Vi study tours and videoconferences, manage the distribution of publications to our new members, and produce multimedia teaching resources -- among other things. After her internship, Eveliina hopes to continue working for an international organization where she can make use of her expertise in communication and linguistics.

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