|Issue #46 - September 2015 - Welcome to the Vi quarterly newsletter|
Two new members for the Virtual Institute
The university offers Bachelor's programmes in Economics, Industrial Economics, and Political Economy, as well as Master's programmes in Industrial Economics, Political Economy, Strategic Business Economics, Applied Business Economics, and Law.
UA&P's three research journals cover industry performance, prospects and competition, as well as forecasts on the Philippine economy and macroeconomic indicators such as exports, interest rates, exchange rates, and price indices.
The Vi cooperation will be coordinated by George Manzano, Vice-Dean of the School of Economics. He holds a PhD in Economics and teaches courses on International Economics. His recent research relates to the non-agricultural sector in prospective free trade agreements by the Philippines and Asia, and to the determinants of export intensity and propensity of Filipino Small and Medium Enterprises.
Joining July 24 was the University of Georgia (UG), the Vi's 57th core member.
UG's School of Law offers Bachelor's, Master's and PhD programmes, and plans to launch an English-language Master’s programme in International Business Law (IBL) with new courses on International Trade Law, WTO Law, International Banking Law, International Investment Law, Intellectual Property Law, International Commercial Arbitration, International Business Transactions, among others.
In the area of research, UG publishes its own journal, titled "Caucasus Journal of Social Sciences." A large part of the journal is dedicated to articles related to economics and business, and international relations.
Vi coordinator, Timothy Barrett, holder of a Doctor of Laws, is Assistant Professor at the School of Law. He teaches courses on WTO law, international business law and legal English, and coordinates the development of the IBL programme. His recent research revolves around trade facilitation in the WTO, and international banking regulations.
Latest Vi online course graduates 58
All participants said that their understanding of NTMs has increased as a result of the course, and 96 percent stated that the course helped them better understand policy issues faced by their countries in international trade. They also came away with ideas for applying their new skills in their teaching, research and work with governmental agencies.
"This course helped me enormously to enhance my knowledge on NTMs, and I became very enthusiastic to do some new research on this," said Khaleda Akhter, of Vi think tank member, the Centre for Policy Dialogue in Bangladesh.
"At the ministry, I will use the course knowledge for analysis of trade negotiations and also for analysis of possible opportunities for international cooperation," added Ryan Cobey, of Ecuador’s Ministry of International Trade. Also a lecturer at University of the Americas, he planned to use his new skills in the implementation of a module on NTMs in his economy of international relations class and in writing a possible paper on the impact of NTMs on trade relations of Ecuador.
"So far I have never tackled the issue of NTMs in such detail. Now I can give a series of lectures or classes on this issue to any level of university students," said Uzbek lecturer, Bobomurod Muminov, currently teaching at Hungary’s Central European University. "Besides, the skills I have gained during the course in relation to detection and application of NTMs in practice will facilitate my research activities."
71 admitted to third edition of Vi online course on trade and poverty
"The selection committee was faced with a very difficult task, but we are trying to raise funds for further editions of this course," said Vi Chief, Vlasta Macku.
Developed in 2013 to support the Vi project on trade and poverty, the course has so far trained over 100 academics from more than 50 countries, and generated 12 policy-oriented research papers, eight of which were compiled in the Vi publication, "Trade policies, household welfare and poverty alleviation."
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 and their successor Sustainable Development Goals.
UNCTAD's latest WIR focus of Vi videoconferences attracts 300+
In addition to reviewing global and regional foreign direct investment trends, UNCTAD experts, Astrit Sulstarova and Noelia Garcia Nebra, discussed this year's special topics: international tax and investment policy.
In 2014, foreign direct investment (FDI) flows fell by 16 percent worldwide, Sulstarova told researchers of Vi affiliate member, the Institute for Applied Economic Research (IPEA), during the videoconference held August 26.
However, "there is a trend of increasing FDI inflows to developing economies, which now receive 55 percent of all global FDI inflows," he said. Another remarkable trend in 2014 was the increase in outward investment from the South, with 36 percent of all outflows, he added.
"In Latin America, flows decreased by 14 percent after four years of consecutive increases," Garcia Nebra told an audience of nearly 300 in Colombia, during the videoconference for core university member, Universidad EAFIT, held September 29. "This decrease was the consequence of a decline in M&As in Central America and the Caribbean, and of lower commodity prices, which reduced investment in the extractive industries in South America."
Despite the slowdown in FDI, Brazil, Mexico, Chile and Colombia made it to the list of top 20 FDI recipients in the world, the WIR reports.
UNCTAD’s FDI forecast model projects global FDI inflows to grow from USD 1.2 trillion in 2014 to USD 1.7 trillion in 2017, Sulstarova and Garcia Nebra said. But although a survey of large multinationals top executives supports these figures, "risks looming over the global economy may darken the outlook for FDI," Nebra warned.
Scholarships available: Second edition of Vi online course on trade and gender - Deadline: November 15
Top course graduates will become part of the UNCTAD trade and gender consultancy roster, and may be considered for future assignments in this area and/or participation in intergovernmental meetings on trade and gender organized by UNCTAD.
Candidates must complete the online application process, as well as submit a current CV and nomination letter from their institution by November 15.
Vi member hosts IER launch
The presentation, entitled "Unlocking the Potential of E-commerce for Developing Countries," was delivered by Torbjörn Fredriksson, of UNCTAD's Division on Technology and Logistics, to an audience of approximately 100 participants from the banking, financial and government sectors.
Fredriksson examined the opportunities and challenges for companies in developing countries that want to engage in e-commerce. After an overview of recent trends in the development of e-commerce globally, he discussed opportunities and barriers for the development of e-commerce in rural area and low-income countries, and reviewed assessment methods to determine countries' readiness to engage in e-commerce. The presentation included an in-depth analysis of the magnitude of e-commerce activities, including consumer usage, in the FYROM.
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Cameroonian adaptation of Vi/WTO teaching material now online
The first chapter reviews the various stages of the country's trade policy, and outlines its potential future evolution. The second chapter analyzes trade performance through standard indicators measuring trade openness, market access, terms of trade, real exchange rate and the cost of transport. Kouty then examines the sectoral composition of Cameroonian exports, the country's revealed comparative advantage, export concentration and diversification, as well as the geographical orientation of its exports. Chapter 4 is dedicated to the analysis of intra-regional trade with the Economic and Monetary Community of Central Africa (CEMAC) using indicators of intensity and complementarity. Given the importance of enterprises for the development of trade, the fifth chapter looks into the characteristics and performance of export-oriented enterprises in Cameroon. To incorporate additional economic, socio-cultural and geographic factors into the analysis, the final chapter uses the gravity model to analyze the determinants of the country's trade. The material includes questions for discussion and exercises.
The material will be used as a reader for a course in international trade for students of international economics at Kouty's university.
New Vi bilingual multimedia teaching resources on UNCTAD's 2015 editions of IER and WIR
The IER presentations, conducted by Scarlett Fondeur Gil and Torbjörn Fredriksson, of UNCTAD's Division on Technology and Logistics, focus on the potential benefits of e-commerce for developing countries. After an overview of trends in the Business to Business (B2B) and Business to Consumer (B2C) sectors, the experts present policy recommendations, and address the importance of implementing and enforcing effective cyber laws and security to build consumer trust in the Internet and e-business.
The WIR presentations, led by Astrit Sulstarova and Noelia Garcia Nebra, of UNCTAD's Division on Investment and Enterprise, review the 2014 global trends in foreign direct investment (FDI) and highlight the positive outcomes for developing countries, which now account for 55 percent of all FDI inflows. The presentations also address the reform of the international investment regime and include essential recommendations to both strengthen and regulate investment.
Developed by workshop tutors, Elizabeth Jane Casabianca and David Zavaleta, the presentations are based on Volume 2 of the Vi's latest teaching material, which focuses on methodologies and data for quantitative analysis of the link between trade and gender.
Tanzanian researcher develops case study based on Vi trade and poverty publication
Funded by the One UN Fund for Tanzania, Ilomo's study finds that the level of price transmission (from international to domestic prices) is higher in regions bordering the East African Community (EAC), and that the export ban is associated with an increase in price in most EAC border regions and a decrease in price in most peripheral regions.
In terms of the consumer welfare effect of the ban, his analysis indicates that at the national level, the ban led to a household welfare loss of approximately 1.5 percent, with female-headed households suffering more than male-headed households. At the regional level, consumers in most of the EAC border regions lost from the export ban, while those in most peripheral regions experienced a welfare gain, which can be partly explained by the fragmentation of domestic markets.
Findings in this paper contribute to the debate about the appropriateness of non-tariff measures in trade policy, and provide additional insights, particularly regarding the heterogeneous effects of policy measures, which might encourage targeted interventions that are location-specific.
Economic Development in Africa Report 2015 - Unlocking the Potential of Africa´s Services Trade for Growth and Development
This year's edition of the Economic Development in Africa report (EDAR), titled "Unlocking the Potential of Africa´s Services Trade for Growth and Development," examines major policy issues and provides specific and actionable recommendations on how services could contribute to inclusive growth, employment and development, given their enabling role and their capacity to link with other sectors.
The report stresses that regulation and policies for infrastructure services need to better target existing market failures and address structural impediments to improve performance in the sector. It also highlights the need for greater policy coherence at the national, regional and international levels to better link trade policy and the services sector.
Technology in Action: Good Practices in Science, Technology and Innovation Policies for Women in South Asia
After a comprehensive analysis of literature on programmes and policies on gender from nine countries, the report discusses the nature of gender disparities in South Asia, and presents a compilation of STI policies and initiatives implemented in the region to improve the situation of women.
The experiences presented show that STI policies usually contribute to improving the livelihoods of women and enhancing gender equality, but that it is not enough to introduce new technologies and expect women to adopt them. Training programmes designed for the needs of women are necessary to familiarize them with technologies and to facilitate their interest and participation.
Who Is Benefiting From Trade Liberalization In Uruguay? A Gender Perspective
In the past decades, Uruguay has moved from the import-substitution regime to an outward-oriented development strategy that prioritizes the market as the resource allocation mechanism, and exports as the engine of growth. During this process, the main structural transformation observed was a de-industrialization process followed by specialization in primary goods and expansion in the services sector.
In order to assess the impact of this trade liberalization and employment redistribution on the female workforce, this report analyzes trade performance and employment composition in the country by sector in the past three decades. The agricultural sector, where most of the benefits from enhanced trade openness should be visible, employs a small percentage of female workers, and the growth of the services sector has not sufficiently increased women’s access to more qualified and better paid jobs. And, although the gender wage gap in most sectors has declined over time, the report finds that changes in trade policy have not been particularly favorable to women.
The report concludes that trade-led economic and employment growth is not sufficient in itself to overcome gender gaps, and presents a set of policy recommendations geared toward reducing women’s segmentation in particular sectors of the economy, and increase their access to qualified positions in the services sector.
Can Green Growth Really Work and what are the True (Socio-) Economics of Climate Change?
According to Hoffmann, one of the problems with the believing that "green growth" would be efficient to cope with the complexities of climate change is that most authors have ignored the so-called "rebound effect" -- which reflects the causality between efficiency increases and additional demand. Enhanced energy (and related material and resources) efficiency and ample availability of cheap renewable energy is likely to increase -- instead of decrease -- consumption, as lower costs and prices enable the spending of saved consumer money, he says.
The paper concludes that the required de-carbonization of the economy will only be achievable if current consumption patterns, methods and lifestyles profoundly change.
New ITC website on non-tariff measures - http://ntmsurvey.intracen.org/home
The information is broken down by company size and sector and the origin of the NTMs (whether they are related to the companies' own country or the country of their trading partner), and is presented in user-friendly charts. The site also contains a range of support materials, including e-learning courses and publications, as well as country reports.
The survey methodology and findings for the 23 first countries are summarized in the publication, "The Invisible Barriers to Trade: How Businesses Experience Non-Tariff Measures." Up to half of the firms surveyed reported being affected by NTMs, with smaller companies, especially in the agro-sector, experiencing the greatest difficulties. Evidence suggests that the trade impact of NTMs is inversely related to the development level of exporting countries.
Scholarships available: Second edition of Vi online course on trade and gender - Deadline: November 15
Funded by the Government of Finland, the course is based on Volume 1 of the Vi teaching material on trade and gender. The seven-week course, scheduled for January 4 to February 21, 2016, particularly encourages applications from qualified women.
Candidates must hold a Master's degree in Economics, Law, Political Science or related area, and have excellent knowledge of English.
Vi national workshop for Nepal: Places available
Delivered by Rolf Traeger, lead author of UNCTAD's Least Developed Countries Report, the workshop will look at the benefits countries can derive from remittances as a new source of financing for development, and from using diasporas to help foster trade, investment and technology transfer with their countries of origin. The training will also analyze potential adverse effects of emigration, such as brain drain and weaker institution-building in the countries of origin. After a review of past and current trends of migration, the workshop will discuss the policy options and institutions which developing countries can adopt or establish in order to optimize the potential of remittances and diasporas for national development.
Call for articles: Colombian member business journal
The journal covers topics related to emerging markets, management, international business, human resources, people at work, accounting, marketing, auditing, CSR, innovation, multilatinas, knowledge management, strategy, inclusive markets and entrepreneurship.
Global South Doctoral Workshop - Deadline December 1
The programme, to be held in English, aims to develop intellectual exchanges and networking between young scholars from the South. Selected participants will be reimbursed return fares and be provided accommodation during the workshop.
Applications are also being accepted for the Winter Programme on the United Nations and Global Challenges to be held January 4-15, 2016. Participants may earn up to six European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS) credits.
Visiting professors for international summer school in Colombia - Deadline: November 6
The series of short courses is aimed at undergraduate students, lecturers and professionals with an interest in topics such as logistics, marketing, sustainability, international business and commerce, creativity and culinary arts.
Writing competition for students - Deadline: October 31
Winning' articles will be published in Bridges (in six languages). Authors could win a trip to Nairobi, Kenya, during the Trade and Development Symposium (14-17 December) organized in cooperation with Vi core member, the University of Nairobi and the Government of Kenya. Cash prizes of USD 2000 will also be awarded.
New member coordinator for Tanzania
We are grateful to former coordinator, Mesia Ilomo, for his excellent collaboration, and wish him much success as he pursues his PhD studies.
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| The UNCTAD Virtual Institute on Trade and Development is a capacity-building and networking programme aiming to strengthen the capacities of academic institutions in developing countries and countries with economies in transition to teach and research trade issues, and to foster links between research and policymaking.|
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