NEWSLETTER ISSUE #3/2017       

TRADE partners with SAIIA to study changing global patterns and policies

TRADE and SAIIA (South African Institute of International Affairs) have been collaborating in a number of projects aimed at better understanding the changing character of the global trading environment and how it can be used as a catalyst for development, particularly in poor countries. 

In September 2016, TRADE (under the auspices of the WTO Chairs Programme) staged a workshop in Potchefstroom together with SAIIA titled ‘Navigating Global Headwinds and Tailwinds: New Directions for Industrial and Trade Policy’. The workshop brought together policymakers, academics, economic commentators and business people to debate how the increasingly technology-charged trading environment is impacting South Africa’s economic performance and prospects, and how the country’s policymakers in particular should be responding to new threats and opportunities. Among the topics discussed was the need to take a holistic view of industrial and trade policy in South Africa since production quality and efficiency are becoming the new drivers of trade relationships, with investment also playing a crucial role. Several speakers emphasised that in today’s global economy, it is prudent to ‘expect the unexpected’, especially in view of last year’s Brexit vote which few analysts anticipated and which has heralded the start of a new era in which the status quo is being continuously challenged. 

In December 2016, research teams from TRADE and SAIIA commenced work on a far-reaching project commissioned by DfID (the UK’s Department for International Development) to investigate why developing countries are not engaging to any noticeable extent in plurilateral trade negotiations (covering services, information technology, the environment, and other fields) and the impact of this lack of involvement (which will be determined through both qualitative and quantitative analyses) on their economic and trade growth prospects in the years ahead.

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Issue #3/2017

Issue #2/2016

Issue #1/2015