NEWSLETTER ISSUE #2/2016       

Welcome from Prof Wilma Viviers, director of TRADE
 
We are living in interesting – but disturbing – times. Although there is much uncertainty in the world today, with South Africa and other countries facing tough economic realities and choices, what remains constant is the need for a strong and diversified economy and an export culture that promotes innovation and efficiency. With this in mind, TRADE continues to look for new ways to research and share information on the economic and trade-related challenges of today, often partnering with other organisations that are similarly keen to make a difference in this regard. 
 
In this (our second) newsletter, we bring you some of the highlights of the last few months. 
 
The WTO Chairs Programme, now in its second year, continues to positively influence our Master’s and PhD programmes as well as our research and outreach activities, and we value the support we have received from the WTO. Having access to WTO trade experts and policymakers has given us a new appreciation of the complexity of international trade rules and relationships. TRADE has also been working closely with the Geneva-based ICTSD (International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development) in a series of projects designed to shed light on how SME service providers can make a more meaningful contribution to poor countries’ economies. 
 
We are delighted that the NWU spin-out company, TRADE Research Advisory (Pty) Ltd (trading as 'TRADE Advisory') is now up and running and geared to handle commercial projects and other work of a commercial advisory nature. The TRADE-DSM Navigator™ is TRADE Advisory's flagship offering and while rooted in thorough academic research, it has a user-friendly interface which ensures that it is of immediate practical value to export advisers and practitioners alike. 
 
TRADE’s strategic partnership with the North West Provincial Government continues to go from strength to strength, and many ideas are being exchanged about possible new areas of collaboration. TRADE also has close ties with Trade and Investment KwaZulu-Natal (TIKZN), the dti (Department of Trade and Industry) and the DAFF (Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries), and has recently extended a formal licence to the BITC (Botswana International Trade Centre) for the use of the TRADE-DSM Navigator™. TRADE team members have also been involved in an extensive research project involving UNU-WIDER, the National Treasury and SARS. 
 
One of TRADE's aims is to help government and business to create a well-informed and capable society, in which there is sustainable work and people experience well-being in the different areas of their lives. In this regard, I would like to acknowledge my talented team who are the TRADE ‘engine room’ and are helping – in so many ways - to make a difference in challenging times.
 
Enjoy the newsletter and please feel free to visit our webpage (www.nwu.ac.za/trade) for more information.
 
All the best
 

Welcome from Prof Wilma Viviers, director of TRADE
 

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Issue #1/2015