|Issue #38 - September 2013 - Welcome to the Vi quarterly newsletter|
Two new members for the Vi - Country representation hits 50-mark
UB, the 18th institution to represent sub-Saharan Africa in the Vi, came to us thanks to the initiative of Khutsufalo Sekolokwane, a UB graduate currently at the Southern African Customs Union, who participated in the 2011 Vi workshop on trade and trade policy analysis and last year's online course on trade and poverty.
UB's Department of Economics, focal point of the cooperation with the Vi, offers a BA, MA, MPhil and PhD degrees in Economics, as well as an MA in Applied Economics. The Department's research topics include poverty, unemployment, and women empowerment; agriculture, environment and economic development; and globalization, privatization and trade. Staff also conducts research on agricultural and food security; industrial economics; resource and environmental economics; labour market, unemployment, poverty and gender; money, banking and finance; econometrics and Computable General Equilibrium modelling; international trade including exchange rates; and globalization and economic development.
Gaotlhobogwe R. Motlaleng, senior lecturer at the Department of Economics teaching courses on international finance and international trade and policies, has been appointed Vi member coordinator. His research focuses exchange rates and trade policy. Also joining are Zibanani Kahaka, responsible for courses on macroeconomics and microeconomics, and whose research covers trade policy and climate change; and Imogen Mogotsi, teacher of courses on international trade, international finance and development economics, and researcher in the areas of trade agreements and poverty reduction.
The university is ready to contribute to the Vi network through research and information sharing in areas such as foreign direct investment, trade and poverty, and the multilateral trading system. They hope that the Vi membership will contribute to the development of their training and research activities, as well as to staff and student exchanges.
MU, Vi's second Asian LDC core university member, established contact in the fall of 2012 after former UNCTAD colleague, Giovanni Valensisi, suggested to MU's Prakash Sharma that the Vi could provide content for a planned graduate programme focusing on development topics.
MU offers a BA and MA in Development Economics, a BA and MA in International Relations, Bachelor's and Master's in Business Studies and in Business Administration, and an MA in International Cooperation and Development (MICD). The MICD, offered in cooperation with the University of Pavia (Italy), contains a number of courses touching on trade and development topics, such as those on quantitative methods; macroeconomics in the global economy; poverty, inequality and economic policies; finance for development; international trade and development; South-South cooperation; food security; and climate change.
Sharma, MICD programme director, will coordinate the cooperation with the Vi. He has a Master in Cooperation and Development Studies from the University of Pavia, and is responsible for courses on international cooperation, contemporary studies, and project management. Sharma will be supported by Suresh Pradhan, academic director of the MICD programme, and Lucia Russo, MICD's programme coordinator.
The university is ready to make available their course outlines and materials, organize and host workshops and training events, and facilitate and promote staff and student exchanges.
Kenyan fellow develops Master's curriculum
Richard Kozul-Wright, of the Division on Globalization and Development Strategies, shared his expertise on globalization, regional integration and South-South cooperation; Elisabeth Tuerk and Kalman Kalotay, of the Division on Investment and Enterprise, provided valuable content on international investment; Martine Julsaint Kidane, of the Division on International Trade in Goods and Services, and Commodities, helped with the trade in services area; and Jan Hoffmann, of the Division on Technology and Logistics, offered assistance with trade logistics and facilitation.
"I was previously exposed to the narrow area of international economics and commodity trade," Korir said. "However, I have now been exposed to other critical subject areas - globalization, investment, facilitation and logistics, trade in services, and financial systems, among others, which are critical to international trade."
Vi Chief, Vlasta Macku, and Vi economist, Cristian Ugarte, guided Korir as he defined the target group for the programme and determined its positioning with regard to the needs of the country and a similar programme offered by the University of Nairobi. Also discussed were possible financial models for the programme, identification of experts to teach various courses, and the content of the programme itself - including the selection of courses, the structure and issues they could cover, and the readings that could be used to facilitate students' learning.
Elijah Manyara, Minister Counsellor at the Permanent Mission of Kenya, who also met with Korir and the Vi team, welcomed the project and stressed the importance of university programmes building knowledge and analytical skills on international economic -- and in particular trade -- issues, for the country.
Funded by the Government of Finland, Korir's fellowship covered the period of May 27 to July 6.
First Vi workshop for Kenya trains 22 on trade empirics
Delivered by Vi economist, Cristian Ugarte, the workshop began with an introduction to Stata and its main functionalities, followed by a look at the theoretical foundations of the gravity model and linear panel data models. The two topics then came together as participants constructed a dataset for gravity modeling using Stata, and worked on an exercise analyzing the impact of regional trade agreements and membership in the WTO.
“I am involved in a research project on trade and tobacco in Africa and this training could not have come at a better time,” one of the participants said. “(I will use the knowledge from the workshop for) guiding students in their data analysis research, and in teaching international economics and trade,” added one of the participating lecturers.
All trainees gave high ratings to the workshop, stating that it had significantly enhanced their knowledge and skills in trade empirics and Stata.
Chinese students take part in fourth Vi study tour for Beijing’s UIBE
The 19-session training programme was delivered by experts from all UNCTAD divisions and Vi partner organizations, the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), the International Trade Centre (ITC) and the World Trade Organization (WTO).
“I have gained really useful knowledge during the study tour and expanded my views to a more global way of thinking,” said one of the students
The study tour also provided the students with the opportunity to discuss country-specific questions about trade negotiations with national representatives at the Permanent Mission of China in charge of UNCTAD and WTO matters.
.“China is playing more and more significant role in the world and we need to learn from the developed countries in order to make China one of them,” concluded another student.
IELPO awards scholarships to Vi academics
The first scholarship went to Worku Gedefa Urgessa, a graduate of Vi core member, Addis Ababa University, and currently a lecturer at the school of law of Ethiopia's Ambo University. He says he has a strong desire to conduct interdisciplinary research connecting law to other areas of study, such as economics, philosophy and sociology. The second scholarship was awarded to Salma Ait Belhadj, a student in the Master's in International Trade and WTO at Vi Moroccan core member, Université Mohammed V - Souissi.
Although the Ethiopian candidate was unable to take advantage of the scholarship due to a lack of funding for living costs in Barcelona, "the Vi would like to thank our Spanish member for continuing to nurture the academic careers of the network's young members," said Vi Chief, Vlasta Macku.
Vi African members participate in UNCTAD regional course
"The course helped me to set things straight," writes Vi Cameroonian core coordinator, Henri Ngoa Tabi, of the Université de Yaoundé II. "As a teacher, I leave with elements that will be useful to my professional Master's students. As researcher, I got my share. Some of the ideas will allow us to help the government update the strategy for employment growth."
Also accepted into the course, primarily geared toward policymakers, were Vi core coordinator, Momodou Jatta (pictured, middle), of the University of the Gambia, and Moses Oduh, of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka.
"We were exposed to various key economic issues that are a challenge for Africa, and (discussed) how we can tackle these challenges in our various policy frameworks," writes Oduh. "Once more I must thank you and all those who were involved in the selection process."
Swiss-Vietnamese member partnership engenders new Master’s
Developed by faculty members at FTU and WTI, the 18-month MITPL offers a multi-disciplinary focus on international economic governance. Taught in English, lectures are delivered by a global team of distinguished faculty, experienced professionals and leading legal and economic experts.
"With the active support and cooperation from WTI, FTU strongly believes that MITPL will equip its graduates with the skills and knowledge necessary to handle a variety of complex law, international policy, economics and political economy issues in a global context," said FTU president, Hoang Van Chau.
"The lack of general and specialized technical knowledge hinders informed decision-making by key stakeholders in trade policy formulation in Vietnam," said WTI Vi member coordinator, Pierre Sauvé. "With MITPL, students and young professionals will deepen their knowledge of the law, economics and political economy of trade and investment policy, issues at the very heart of global governance that are central to Vietnam’s continued insertion into world commerce."
UNCTAD welcomes new SG
"When meeting the Vi team, Mr. Kituyi made reference to our recent workshop for Kenya, and asked to learn more about the overall Vi programme," said Vi Chief, Vlasta Macku. "We hope to benefit from his academic and policymaking experience as the Vi continues to help its members increase the policy relevance of their teaching and research."
Kituyi began his undergraduate studies at the University of Nairobi and went on to obtain a Bachelor's in Political Science and International Relations from Uganda's Makerere University. His graduate and doctoral studies were completed at the University of Bergen, Norway. Prior to joining UNCTAD, Kituyi was Chief Executive of the Kenya Institute of Governance and a fellow in the Africa Growth Initiative at the Brookings Institution.
Vi research seminar - Join us!
The range of research topics is extensive, reflecting the diversity of the institutions and geographical regions represented. The session on development strategies will feature the work of members from Russia, Jordan and Brazil on Dutch disease and energy-driven diversification, trade in services and economic growth, and currency, liquidity and exchange rates. The session on the international economic regime will discuss the work of members from Morocco, Russia and France on the trade dispute settlement system and global climate governance.The session on enhancing export performance will hear from South African and West Indian members working on new product and service export opportunities, and extension services to improve trade in the Caribbean. The session on trade agreements will present the findings of members from Colombia, South Africa and Brazil on regional and bilateral trade agreements, and the effect of proximity on trade. The last session will focus on research into entrepreneurship in the Colombian creative economy.
All papers were peer-reviewed by fellow participants or guest reviewers: Jan Bohanes, of the Advisory Centre on WTO Law, Robert Hamwey, of UNCTAD, and Massimiliano La Marca, of the International Labour Organization.
Scholarships available: Second edition of Vi online course on trade and poverty - Deadline: November 24
All selected participants will be exempt from course fees, and will receive the course CD/DVD including 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 10 course graduates will receive a copy of the UNCTAD/Vi-WTO book, "A Practical Guide to Trade Policy Analysis."
Applications, including CV and letter of institutional support, must be submitted online no later than November 24.
Last quarter Vi workshops - Up to 5 places available
The Vi workshop for Mauritius responds to a request by Vi core member, the University of Mauritius, for specialized training, particularly for lecturers in charge of WTO-related courses. Scheduled for 16-18 October, the workshop will be delivered by UNCTAD expert, Martine Julsaint, of UNCTAD's Division on International Trade in Goods and Services, and Commodities, and will take place on the campus of Vi core member, the University of Mauritius.
Closing the year is a Vi workshop on the empirics of trade for Tanzanian core member, the University of Dar es Salaam Business School. Funded by the Tanzania One UN Fund, the training is planned for the first week of December.
Vi Moroccan member announces conference and doctoral seminar (français)
Un séminaire d'études doctorales ouvert à de jeunes chercheurs (doctorants ou étudiants à la sortie du master qui souhaitent débuter une thèse) travaillant soit sur la problématique du colloque, soit sur les pays méditerranéens, sera organisé le 16 novembre.
Droits d'inscription: 120 euros (individuel), 50 euros (étudiants), 180 euros (institution).
UNCTAD/UNITAR online course on trade-related development assistance
The five-module course will cover: the role of trade and productive capacity in development strategies; linkages of trade with other dimensions of development; preconditions for the effective contribution of trade to developmental processes; UN vehicles for delivering trade-related assistance; UN integrated projects with trade components; and formulation of integrated UNDAF development programmes that take better account of the trade dimension.
| >_TEACHING RESOURCES |
New multimedia resources on food security, communicating with policymakers
In Trade and food security: The good news, and the bad, Samuel Gayi, Head of UNCTAD's Special Unit on Commodities, introduces the topic of food security and its key dimensions, and explores the causes of the 2008 food crisis. After examining food security threats, such as competing uses of crops, skewed geographical distribution of food production and food waste, he looks at how trade can be both good and bad for food security, and proposes policy options to support the goal of making sufficient food available to all.
The second multimedia teaching resource, Informing national policy: How to communicate with policymakers?, features no-nonsense, practical tips from UNCTAD expert, Rashmi Banga, on sharing your research effectively and increasing the chances of its uptake by policymakers.
UNCTAD Vi/WTO book now available in Chinese
The brainchild of Vi member coordinator, Lei Zhang, the translation and publication in China was funded by SIFT's WTO Chair, and the online version developed and hosted by the Vi. The project, in the works since the last quarter of 2012, also counted with the support of former Vi fellow, Hao Shao, of SIFT.
The book went off to the printers in August for a run of 2000 copies. It is expected that Chinese libraries will be the primary consumer of the publication, which will be sold at a small, non-profit price.
Trade and Development Report 2013 - Adjusting to the changing dynamic of the world economy
Rather than exclusively pursuing export-led growth, the TDR advocates a growth strategy with a greater role for domestic demand, which can be pursued by many countries simultaneously without causing adverse spillover effects on other countries and without inducing wage and tax competition. If many developing and transition economies were to move coordinately towards a more balanced growth strategy, their economies could become markets for each other, spurring regional and South-South trade, and further growth in all of them.
Economic Development in Africa Report 2013 - Intra-African Trade: Unlocking Private Sector Dynamism
After reviewing facts on intra-African trade and highlighting distinctive features of Africa’s enterprise structure, the report analyzes the challenges posed by non-implementation of regional trade agreements, and reflects on ways of enhancing their implementation. It advocates "developmental regionalism," which places the building of productive capacities and domestic entrepreneurship at the heart of the policy agenda for boosting intra-African trade, instead of only focusing on the elimination of trade barriers.
Trade and Environment Review 2013 - Wake up before it is too late: Make agriculture truly sustainable now for food security in a changing climate
In this collection of articles, more than 50 international experts share their perspectives on various dimensions of the climate-change challenge for agriculture: the transformation of agriculture and livestock production for food and livelihood security and the roles of research and technology extension services, changes in land use, and international trade.
Non-Tariff Measures to Trade: Economic and Policy Issues for Developing Countries
The study then takes up issues related to the analysis and quantification of their effects, summarizing the advantages and disadvantages of various quantitative tools, and providing a detailed review of the empirical literature. The discussion is not only methodological but provides an empirical assessment of the impact of different types of NTMs, and analyzes a number of case studies to provide policy recommendations and quantitative analysis with regard to several sectors, countries and types of NTMs.
According to the study, "NTMs overall restrictions on trade may be systematically biased, although unintentionally, against developing countries, and more so against low-income and least developed countries."
The Palestinian economy in East Jerusalem: Enduring annexation, isolation and disintegration
The economic analysis is based on the city's growth record during the last two decades, elements affecting labour force, the evolution of its economic structure -- the share of the various economic sectors in output and employment -- and the identification of some of the reasons behind its weak investment record and obstacles to overall development.
The report concludes with recommendations for possible targeted policy interventions to revive East Jerusalem as the centre of Palestinian economic and cultural life.
The economics behind non-tariff measures: Theoretical insights and empirical evidence
Technical barriers to trade (TBT) and sanitary or phytosanitary (SPS) measures are the two broad categories of technical regulations and even if their aim is to guarantee a level of quality and safety standards for importer countries, their extensive use in international trade raises concerns for exports from developing countries. Indeed, technical regulations are imposed to half of the products traded between countries and their incidence has increased over time.
After presenting a theoretical model for the analysis of NTMs, the paper reviews the results of the different methodologies used to estimate ad valorem equivalents for technical regulations through price effects on traded goods. Finally, the author highlights that recent contributions, based on gravity model estimations including the evaluation of the protectionist aspect of these measures, represent an important step toward a more systematic quantification of the nature of technical regulations.
Market access, export performance and survival: Evidence from Peruvian firms
The data used cover all Peruvian exporting firms between 2002 and 2008, a period during which Peru made particular efforts to enhance its integration into the global economy. The paper uses two indices to analyze the issue: one that summarizes the tariffs faced by exports, and the other one that measures the preferential margin at the bilateral level. Results show that more than market access conditions per se, it is market access conditions relative to those faced by competitors that significantly influence export performance and survival of firms. About a fifth of the increase of exports directed to MERCOSUR countries is due to improvement in such preference margins.
World Trade Report 2013: Factors shaping the future of world trade
Beginning with an overview of economic and trade activity, highlighting chronological milestones, trends and possible scenarios, the report goes on to analyze fundamental forces shaping the future of international trade, including demography, investment, technology, availability of energy and other natural resources, transportation costs, and institutions. To conclude, the WTR looks at broader socio-economic factors, including social, environmental and macroeconomic concerns, and outlines the prospects for multilateral trade cooperation, identifying challenges faced by the WTO and the ways in which it could address them.
A handbook on negotiating preferential trade agreements: Services Liberalization
Chapter one takes the reader through the various stages required to prepare for a negotiation, while chapter two explains the actual negotiation, addressing organizational and procedural issues, negotiating rules, as well as possible red lines and impasses. Given the numerous constraints facing developing countries, chapter three is specifically dedicated to opportunities to use Aid for Trade to improve the negotiating capacity and the management of market opening in developing countries, and to boost their export capacity. Chapter four focuses on the implementation of negotiated commitments, as well as monitoring and enforcement of preferential trade agreements. The authors frequently offer ideas and present country experiences, in particular relating to those countries that are well versed and successful in trade in services and related negotiations.
Supply chain perspectives and issues: A literature review
This recent review of literature on global value chains (GVCs) prepared by the World Trade and Organization and the Fung Global Institute, maps the existing body of knowledge in this area. The 12-chapter book identifies the defining features of GVCs from the economic and business perspectives, and takes on specific issues in the GVC literature, in particular the relationships between value chains and offshoring and outsourcing; upgrading and development; risk; small- and medium-sized enterprises; services; trade in value-added; business models; sustainability; trade policy; and trade finance. All chapters contain sections outlining possible future developments in their specifics areas. Chapters 3-12 also provide an analysis of a number of empirical studies on each specific area covered.
The Future of Trade: The Challenges of Convergence
I-TIP Services - http://i-tip.wto.org/services/
The data are presented in four modules covering: (a) members' commitments under the WTO's General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS); (b) commitments on trade in services in regional trade agreements; (c) members' applied measures affecting trade in services; and (d) services statistics. The joint database covers various sectors, such as financial, transportation, tourism, retail, telecommunications, and business services, including law and accounting, in more than 100 countries.
Colombian member offers scholarship for MIB - Deadline: November 1
EAFIT is working with ICETEX, a Colombian government scholarship organization to provide scholarships covering living costs of international students in Colombia. Students interested in a full scholarship covering tuition (EAFIT) and living costs (ICETEX) should also apply to http://ww.icetex.gov.co (in Spanish).
Vacancy: UNRISD Research coordinator
The ideal candidate will have proven experience in conceptualizing, developing and implementing research programmes, with field research experience in developing countries. S/he will have a record of high-quality research outputs and experience in communicating research to diverse audiences, particularly in policy communities. S/he should be familiar with UNRISD research; some knowledge of the UN system would be an advantage.
The post requires a minimum of five years of experience in development research at an academic or research institution and a Master’s degree in social science, with a focus on gender and development. A PhD is strongly desirable.
Applications must be submitted online by October 13.
Call for papers: Colombian conference
The conference will promote research findings and theoretical developments related to the geographical aspects of innovation and internationalization in the Latin American context. Papers addressing issues related to how factors such as cities, country boundaries, and various distance types (e.g., cultural, administrative, geographic, economic, etc.) promote and/or inhibit innovation and internationalization must be submitted online by October 15.
Call for articles: International Development Bank journal
Fellowships ASEAN region
Research should address the challenge of improving systems for managing natural resources to allow sustainable economic growth and meet growing energy needs in the ASEAN region. Collaborative proposals among ASEAN nationals or that incorporate creative methodologies are particularly encouraged.
Another young Vi academic thrives in the network
His analysis shows that trade openness reduces inter-industry wage inequality in low-income developing countries and increases it in higher-income developing countries. In addition, his thesis finds that trade liberalization causes intra-industry wage inequality, as firms involved in international trade pay higher wages than those which are not.
"This thesis would not have been possible without the support of the Virtual Institute," Kouty writes. "In particular the 2011 course on tools and methods for trade and trade policy analysis, and the 2012 online course on trade and poverty (which provided knowledge on the use of Stata for the construction of non-parametric regressions)."
Kouty's immediate plans include obtaining a post-doctoral scholarship and publishing his research in recognized journals. Ultimately, he hopes to make a career at an international organization like the WTO, UNCTAD or the World Bank.
Mexican Vi academic publishes new book
The book addresses the growing number of legal and economic issues that arise with respect to climate change, combining analysis from the economic, financial, and legal perspectives. It examines climate change issues affecting global economic governance, assesses financial and insurance concerns, and explores how securitization can be applied to risks related to a changing environment. In addition, the book addresses a wide range of global economic issues, including the impact of climate change on food production, the "polluter pays" principle, the micro and macroeconomics of climate change, and the principle of sustainable development.
Condon is currently on sabbatical at the University of New South Wales, Australia, and the University of Victoria, Canada, where he is researching and teaching courses on climate change and international economic law.
New Vi staff
Also joining us is Florence Hudry, formerly of UNCTAD's Division on Technology and Logistics, where her work included administration, desktop publishing and coordination of technical assistance and capacity-building activities. At the Vi, she will manage our videoconferences and the administration of fellowships, workshops and other services for our members.
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