Vi Quarterly Newsletter
Issue #50 - July - September 2016 - Welcome to the Vi quarterly newsletter

Four new Vi members this quarter
Universities from Rwanda, Turkey, Kenya and Azerbaijan joined the Virtual Institute in July and August, expanding the reach of UNCTAD's programme for academic cooperation to 131 institutions in 64 countries.

Vi member, the University of Kigali, Rwanda

The University of Kigali (UOK), the first Vi member from Rwanda, joined the Virtual Institute July 15. Created in 2013, UOK offers Bachelor's programmes in economics, business administration, information and communication technology, and law. It also offers Master's programmes in economics, business economics, applied business economics, and law. New Master's programmes in international cooperation and development, and in the fields of statistics, tourism management, and data communication and cyber security, as well as PhD programmes are in the works. Academic staff has undertaken research in economics, business administration and management, focusing on topics such as FDI, regional integration and trade, macroeconomics, energy and resource economics, and poverty eradication.

Associate professor, Caleb Tamwesigire, formerly of Vi core member, Makerere University Business School, will coordinate the cooperation with the Vi through the School of Postgraduate Studies. He holds a PhD in business administration, teaches courses on international economics and trade, regional economic integration and cooperation, and has recently been researching aid and economic growth/development in developing countries. Also involved in the cooperation with the Vi are colleagues, Bernadine Bukomeko and Alexis Manzi.

Vi university member,  Istanbul Commerce University, Turkey


The Istanbul Commerce University (ICU) became the Vi's 62nd core member August 2. Founded by the Istanbul Chamber of Commerce in 2001, the university provides Master's in international trade, commercial diplomacy, global marketing and brand management, and in international trade and the EU law, as well as PhD programmes in international trade, and in internatıonal trade and the EU law. Relevant courses are also taught by the Institute of Finance and the Institute of Social Sciences. 

ICU's research topics include bilateral and regional trade of Turkey; corporate social responsibility; globalization; macroeconomic and international economic policies; industrial policy; tourism services; effects of commodity/oil price shocks; economic integration; the relationship between FDI, export and economic growth; effects of exchanges rates on exports and imports of emerging countries; and effects of the global economic crisis on gender.

The cooperation of ICU with the Vi will be coordinated by its Vice-Rector and Director of the Institute of International Trade, Saduman Okumus. Holder of a PhD, she teaches a course on the international financial system. Her recent research has focused on the Turkish financial system, Islamic banking, and the use of microfinance for poverty alleviation. Also participanting in the cooperation with the Vi is Ahmet Oguz Demir, Director of ICU's EU Research Center.

Vi member, the University of Kibabii, Kenya

The University of Kibabii (KIBU) joined the Vi August 4, the third university to represent Kenya in the network. Established in 2011, the university offers Bachelor's programmes in commerce and in business management, and a Master's programme in business administration. It also offers short courses in investment, management and leadership. Bachelor's programmes in economics, in business information technology, and in cooperative management and enterprise development, along with Master's programmes in economics, and in international trade policy and trade law, are planned for this year.

KIBU's research topics include international finance, investment, trade, ICT for development, science and technology policies, enterprise development, development finance, supply chain management, trade and poverty, and the environment.

Chairman of the Departmental Graduate School Committee, Muganda Munir Manini, has been named Vi member coordinator at KIBU. Holder of a PhD in business administration, he teaches courses on international and public finance, financial economics, and monetary theory and practice, among others. His recent research focuses on determinants of economic growth in Kenya, fiscal policy and unemployment, and finance for SMEs. Also involved in Vi activities are SOBE's Dean, Kadian Wanyama Wanyonyi; Chairman of SOBE's Department of Business Administration & Management, Kennedy Ntabo Otiso; Chairman of the Department of Economics, Finance & Accounting, Brian Wanyama Singoro; and  Dean of the School of Computing & Informatics, Franklin Wabwoba.

Vi member, Western University, Azerbaijan


To close the quarter, a second university from Azerbaijan, Western University (WU), joined the Vi August 4. Founded in 1991, WU offers Bachelor's programmes in economics and finance; Bachelor's and Master's programmes in international economics, international relations, regional studies, business administration, and tourism and hotel management; Master's programmes in banking, insurance, legal regulation of the economy, business management, and tourism economics; and PhD programmes in international economics, regional economy, international relations, and fiscal policy and public finance.

WU's research topics include new trends in sustainable human development and the monitoring of this process; the impact of natural, economic and social environment on sustainable human development; regional discrepancies in the level of human development; and gender aspects of human development, women empowerment and mainstreaming gender policies in national development strategies.

Vi member coordinator, Afag Hasanova, holds a PhD and is a senior lecturer at the School of Business Administration. She teaches courses on international economics, economic integration, international economic relations, international trade, international business management, commercial diplomacy and development economics. Her research interests revolve around macroeconomic policy, SME promotion, microfinance, and international development. Also involved in Vi activities is Head of the Department of Business Administration,Parviz Gurbanov.

Vi e-learning

New Vi online course accepts 71 participants
Vi's latest online course, scheduled October 10 to December 4, attracted a record-breaking 267 applications from lecturers and researchers representing 73 countries around the world. The selection committee extended admission to 71 candidates from 48 developing countries and countries with economies in transition.

The objective of the course is to provide participants with the empirical tools needed to assess the impact of NTMs on trade and welfare. A hands-on technical course, the emphasis will be on the handling of data and the use of econometric tools. 

Co-funded by the Government of Finland, and developed in cooperation with UNCTAD's Division on International Trade in Goods and Services, and Commodities (DITC), the course will be delivered by Marco Fugazza, of the Trade Analysis Branch.




UNCTAD's WIR topic of this quarter's Vi videoconferences
Vi videoconferences presenting findings of this year's UNCTAD World Investment Report (WIR) reached a combined audience of about 130 university lecturers and students in Colombia and Pakistan.

Vi Chief, Vlasta Macku (left) and UNCTAD's Stephania Bonilla-Féret

The first videoconference, held September 13, gathered 31 lecturers and students from Colombian core member, Universidad EAFIT, as well as another 50 or so from affilliate members, Universidad de La Sabana and Universidad Sergio Arboleda, joining the discussion via webcast. The presentation was delivered by Stephania Bonilla-Féret, of UNCTAD's Division on Investment and Enterprise (DIAE).

"Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) flows increased by 38 percent in 2015,” she said. "After three successive years of contraction, FDI inflows to developed countries bounced back sharply to the highest level since 2007, driven mainly by exceptionally high cross-border M&A values."

Vi Chief, Vlasta Macku (left) and UNCTAD's Kalman Kalotay

Regarding the regional distribution of FDI, the WIR reports that eight of the 20 top recipients are developing countries, and six made the top-20 list for outflows, DIAE's Kalman Kalotay told 50 professors and students during the videoconference for Vi Pakistani core member, the Institute of Business AdministrationSeptember 23.

"Though Developing Asia received the most FDI in 2015, it was Europe which observed the highest increase in FDI inflows,” Kalotay said.

Still, Kalotay warned that in 2016 it is expected that FDI flows will decrease by 10 to 15 percent, due to stagnating aggregate demand, sluggish growth in commodity exporting countries, and policies that have been adopted to curb tax inversion deals, which inflate FDI numbers.


Vi members meet at UNCTAD 14

Vi members network at UNCTAD 14
Several Vi academics took advantage of the 14th session of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development held in Nairobi July 17-22 to exchange their experiences in our network. The mini-meeting was organized by associate Vi member, Rosana Munyiva.

"I was able to attend UNCTAD 14 thanks to the UNCTAD Virtual Institute, which facilitated the invitation," said Vi Kenyan core member university coordinator, Tabitha Kiriti-Nganga. "In the meeting with the associate members we had a very productive session discussing how they can make use of UNCTAD Vi opportunities in capacity building."

"Professor Kiriti told us that the Virtual Institute had great courses that one could apply for and gain skills in the field of trade," Munyiva said. "We learnt that the Virtual institute helps in shaping the academic courses on trade and development, policy making and its collaboration with the learning institutions enables a wider outreach of the knowledge to be shared."


Virtual Institute Teaching Material on Structural Transformation and Industrial Policy
Aimed at students and lecturers/researchers of economics or social studies, as well as a generalist audience of stakeholders interested in the topic, this Vi teaching material reviews theories and empirical findings on structural transformation and industrial policy, highlighting their role in socio-economic development. 

Module 1, titled "The structural transformation process: Trends, theory and empirical findings," defines a conceptual framework for the analysis of structural transformation, based on both historical and recent patterns of structural transformation in developed and developing economies. It then examines the evolution of development thinking and empirical literature on structural transformation. It concludes by analyzing the role of structural transformation in social and human development, and in particular the relationship between structural transformation and human development as reflected in the Millennium Development Goals. 

Module 2, titled "Industrial policy: A theoretical and practical framework for thinking about – and applying – industrial policy," discusses how governments could support the process of structural transformation. After introducing the definitions and concepts related to industrial policy and its design and implementation, it discusses the role of industrial policy in structural transformation, reviewing the arguments in favor and against industrial policy. It provides country and sectoral examples of successful implementation of industrial policy, and discusses the challenges to structural transformation and industrial policy faced by developing countries today. To illustrate both theoretical and empirical aspects of the topics covered, the material uses country case studies, empirical data, and reviews of relevant research papers. It also contains exercises and discussion questions for students.

Virtual Institute Teaching Material on Trade, the Environment and Sustainable Development: Transition to a Low-carbon Economy

Government of Finland

Virtual Institute Teaching Material on Trade, the Environment and Sustainable Development: Transition to a Low-carbon Economy
This teaching material analyzes the ways and means to address what is considered by many as the 21st century's biggest global environmental challenge, climate change, and the transformation of the current carbon-based economies into low-carbon economies.

Module 1 offers an introduction to the topic by highlighting the linkages between the economy and the environment. It introduces the services provided by the environment to the economy, factors determining the size of human impacts on the environment, underlines the importance of sustainable economic systems, and concludes by discussing the role of trade as an enabler of sustainable development and poverty reduction.

Module 2 focuses on the science behind climate change. It introduces the components of the climate system, explains how climate change occurs and in which ways economic activities affect climate, and concludes by reviewing the evidence on observed and anticipated changes in the climate system and their impacts on human and natural systems.

Module 3 introduces readers to the economics of climate change. It explains why climate change is considered the biggest market failure in human history by highlighting the open-access-nature of the atmosphere and the fact that greenhouse gas emissions are negative externalities. It then shows that the reduction of emissions is a global public good, which generates incentives for nations to free-ride, and hampers the implementation of effective solutions to limiting climate change.

Module 4 analyzes the politics of climate change. It discusses the various policy instruments and technological solutions to limit climate change and transform economies into low-carbon economies. It explains that, in parallel with such policies, society also needs to undertake actions to adapt human and natural systems to the anticipated impacts of climate change. To conclude, the module reviews key international climate change policy developments, in particular the Paris Agreement, with a special focus on the situation of developing countries.

UNCTAD Virtual Institute

Adaptation of Vi teaching material on competitiveness for Tanzania now available for Vi member institution staff
The localization of the Vi teaching material on competitiveness and development, authored by Deusdedit Augustine Rwehumbiza, of Vi core member, the University of Dar es Salaam Business School, analyzes the status and drivers of competitiveness in the context of the United Republic of Tanzania. Rwehumbiza counted with the support of Vi's Francesca Guadagno and Vlasta Macku.

The localization project introduces the reader to the concept of competitiveness, briefly reviewing the literature, and distinguishing between individual-, firm-, industry-, and country-level competitiveness. It then provides an analysis of the status of competitiveness of the Tanzanian economy, classified by the Global Competitiveness Index as a factor-driven economy. Rwehumbiza also discusses how the process of structural transformation and national policies contributed to determine the current status of competitiveness of the economy. The last section reviews some of the policies implemented in two of the most successful cases of fast competitiveness improvements, the Republic of Korea and Taiwan Province of China. The conclusion provides suggestions for policies that could enhance the competitiveness of the country, and potentially of Africa in general.


New multimedia resources on SDGs, investment, NTMs now online
In the first resource, Rolf Traeger, Chief of UNCTAD's LDC Section, discusses the role of trade and investment in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The multimedia presentation (in Spanish) is based on a video contribution to the "Cátedra sobre Pacto Global 2016" organized by Vi core Colombian university member, Universidad EAFIT, in August.

The second resource, Economic analysis of Non-Tariff Measures - A primer, introduces the concepts and issues related to non-tariff measures (NTMs), and surveys research methods used to assess their impact on trade. The multimedia presentation features Vi online course co-authors, Marco Fugazza, of UNCTAD's Division on International Trade in Goods and Services, and Commodities, and Anne-Célia Disdier, of the Institut national de la recherche agronomique.

The last multimedia teaching resource of the quarter, WIR 16: Tackling investor-nationality FDI rules, was filmed during a videoconference for Vi Colombian member universities. Delivered by Stephania Bonilla, of UNCTAD's Division on Investment and Enterprise, the presentation reports findings from UNCTAD's latest World Investment Report.

Trade and Development Report 2016: Structural transformation for inclusive and sustained growth


Trade and Development Report 2016: Structural transformation for inclusive and sustained growth
Today, countries all around the world face a difficult combination of sluggish investment, productivity slowdowns, stagnant trade, rising inequality and mounting levels of debt. In many developed countries, stringent fiscal policies and slow wage growth have led to one of the weakest recoveries from an economic crisis on record, which also has a negative impact on growth in developing countries. According to the Trade and Development Report (TDR) 2016, getting the world economy back on track requires that global leaders use bolder macroeconomic policies, strengthened regulation of finance and active industrial policies.

After an overview of global trends, this year's TDR focuses specifically on structural transformation and industrial policy. Chapters 2 and 3 analyze the trends in structural changes since 1970, and make the case for industrialization and the development of manufacturing industries. It also reviews the role of primary and tertiary sectors in structural transformation. Chapter 4 is centered on the role of trade in manufactures in industrialization, including global value chains and industrial upgrading.

After looking into the links between profits, investment and structural change in chapter five, the report dedicates its last chapter to industrial policy, in particular its scope, the relationship between the state and businesses, tools of industrial policy, and the ways of integrating trade, macroeconomic and structural policies.

Economic Development in Africa Report 2016

Economic Development in Africa Report 2016
Africa's development agenda calls for substantial financial resources at a time when the global development finance model is shifting from the use of official development assistance and external debt, to a framework with greater emphasis on the mobilization of domestic resources.

In this context, UNCTAD's Economic Development in Africa Report 2016, subtitled "Debt Dynamics and Development Finance in Africa," examines some of the key policy issues linked to Africa's domestic and external debt, and provides policy guidance on the delicate balance between development finance alternatives and overall debt sustainability. In particular, it analyzes Africa's international debt exposure, and how domestic debt is increasingly playing a role as a development finance option in some African countries.

It also examines complementary financing options and how they relate to debt. The report concludes with policy recommendations which address the roles that African governments, external partners and the international community can play in ensuring that Africa's public debt remains sustainable. 

World Trade Statistical Review 201

World Trade Statistical Review 2016
Replacing the annual WTO International Trade Statistics, this new publication provides insights into how world trade has evolved in recent years by analyzing the latest trade statistics within an economic context.

The report reviews trends in world trade over the past 10 years, assesses world trade developments in 2015 and provides an outlook for early 2016. It also presents an in-depth analysis of the latest trends in the global and regional trade of goods and commercial services. A special chapter is dedicated to the participation of developing countries, and in particular the least developed, in world trade, and the Aid for Trade initiative. The publication concludes with a summary of the main developments in trade-policy making, highlighting the latest data on WTO members' use of trade-restrictive and trade-facilitating measures. These analytical chapters are complemented with comprehensive data on various facets of world trade in goods and services. 

World Trade Report 2016

World Trade Report 2016
This year's edition of the WTO's World Trade Report titled "Levelling the trading field for SMEs," looks at how the international trade landscape - both opportunities and challenges - is changing for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), and what the multilateral trading system can do to encourage more widespread and inclusive SME participation in global markets.

The first three chapters analyze the place of SMEs in domestic economies and international trade, and look into the internationalization processes and their impact on SME performance. Chapter 4 focuses on the trade obstacles to SME participation in trade, concluding that small businesses continue to face disproportionate barriers to trade. The last chapter is dedicated to cooperative approaches to promoting SME participation in trade, highlighting the scope for coherent national and international policy actions that would enhance the ability of SMEs to participate in world markets more effectively.


Development and Globalization: Facts and Figures
The 2016 edition of UNCTAD Development and Globalization: Facts and Figures (DGFF), is dedicated to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The report summarizes the current state of affairs, and highlights key facts and messages for a selection of the 17 SDGs reflecting UNCTAD's mandate -- economic and sustainable development issues with a focus on trade, finance, investment and technology.

The report covers progress on 52 specific SDG targets grouped under 10 of the 17 SDGs, and presents general statistical analysis for all 17 goals. A special note on global and regional population projections and demographic changes is also included.

Vi online course on Trade and Gender scholarships available - Deadline: November 20

Vi online course on Trade and Gender scholarships available - Deadline: November 20
Academics, policymakers and representatives of civil society in developing countries and countries with economies in transition involved in research, teaching, policy formulation and implementation, or field work in the area of trade and gender are invited to apply for participation in the first edition of the Vi online course on trade and gender.

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 January 9 to February 26, 2015, particularly encourages applications from qualified women and candidates from sub-Saharan Africa and the least developed countries. Candidates must hold a Master's degree in Economics, Law, Political Science or related area, as well as excellent knowledge of English.

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 20.

Free online course on trade facilitation for West Africa from UNITAR

Free online course on trade facilitation
Offered by the United Nations Institute for Training and Research, the course on "WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement & Regional Trade Facilitation Rules and Regulations" targets trade officials and policymakers from West Africa. The courses will be offered in English (October 24 - November 25), French (October 31 - December 2) and Portuguese (November 7 - December 9).

The courses aim to boost intra-African trade and competitiveness in West Africa by enhancing the trade officials and policymakers' understanding of the risks and opportunities of trade facilitation, and translating their knowledge into sound policy reforms. Government officials, policy makers and custom authorities from ECOWAS member-states are eligible to apply.

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

Universidad de la Sabana Colombian member seeks summer school professors - Deadline November 21
Vi affiliate member, Universidad de la Sabana, invites Vi members to apply for visiting professorships for its 2017 summer school programme, to be held in Bogota June 5-18.

The series of short courses is aimed at undergraduate students, lecturers and professionals with an interest in topics such as logistics, marketing, sustainability, business, international trade and econometrics.

Selected candidates will receive assistance with obtaining a visa/work permit, as well as air fare, accommodation and meals, ground transportation and international health insurance. To apply, send an application letter, CV and course syllabus by November 21 to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Retiring Vi Chief, Vlasta Macku (left), and Vi Officer-in- Charge, Igor Paunovic

Vi under new leadership
After leading the Vi since its inception in 2004, Vi Chief, Vlasta Macku, left UNCTAD September 30.
Until her successor is appointed, Igor Paunovic, of the Division on Globalization and Development Strategies, will serve as Officer-in-Charge of the Vi. Holder of degrees in economics from the University of Zagreb, Croatia, and the New School for Social Research, USA, Paunovic is a senior economist specialized in economic development and macroeconomic analysis. After an academic career at the University of Zagreb, he worked for the UN Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean in Mexico and Chile, and later for UNCTAD, where he currently focuses on issues related to global governance, South-South cooperation and regional integration. He has authored UNCTAD and ECLAC publications, and published extensively in specialized national and international journals.

Vi member, Emmanuel Orkoh accepted to PhD in South Africa

Vi online course graduate admitted to PhD programme
Emmanuel Orkoh, of Vi core Ghanaian member, University of Cape Coast, will begin his PhD studies at Vi affiliate member, the North-West University, this fall.
"It all began when I had the opportunity to participate in the first edition of the Virtual Institute online course on Trade and Gender and the subsequent regional workshop on trade and gender analysis held in June 2015 at the North-West University, South Africa," said Orkoh. 
Orkoh, who also wrote "Gender welfare effects of regional trade integration on households in Ghana," through a Vi mentored research project, applied for the PhD in Economics in the TRADE research entity and School of Economics, just after his participation in the workshop.
"The title of my thesis is 'intra-household time allocation and poverty' in Ghana, with a focus on gender differences," he said. "Through my participation in the online course, the workshop and mentored research, I have acquired the requisite skills for engaging in gender disaggregated analysis. These skills, which I will apply in my analysis, will enrich the contribution of my studies to policy."

Vi intern, Rochelle Terblanche New Vi intern
Hilary Luna Enos-Edu joined the Vi team as Programme Management Intern in September. She recently completed her Master's degree in Global Governance and Ethics. 
At the Vi, her responsibilities include developing multimedia teaching resources, contributing to the development of online courses, assisting in the organization of videoconferences and study tours, updating our digital library and online content, and supporting other Vi activities.  
The Virtual Institute welcomes any feedback, both positive and critical, about the Vi Newsletter. Is it clear? Are the links helpful? Do they work? Equally, if there is any aspect of UNCTAD's work that you would like to see reported in the newsletter, please make suggestions and we will try to cover it. We would also welcome any news items from members about their current or planned activities. Send all comments and document requests to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


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The UNCTAD Virtual Institute on Trade and Development is a capacity-building and 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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Virtual Institute
UNCTAD - United Nations Conference on Trade and Development
Division on Globalization and Development Strategies
Palais des Nations
1211 Geneva 10 - Switzerland
Phone: +41 22 917 5823 Fax: +41-22 917 0050
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