NEWSLETTER ISSUE #4/2017       

Welcome from Prof Wilma Viviers, director of TRADE

Spring is a special season – not only is it a time of regrowth and renewal, but it also reminds us how resilient nature (and the world) is. The last few months have been far from easy for many countries, South Africa included. Political and policy uncertainty and economic pressures have taken a toll on business and society, and the road ahead is far from clear. But in working with many groups of people – from postgraduate students on the threshold of their research careers to policymakers grappling with complex trade issues – I am encouraged by how much enthusiasm and commitment there is to face challenges and make a difference, even in a small way.

We have had a busy six months at TRADE, with the WTO Chairs Programme continuing to be an important beacon in our Master’s and PhD programmes and our research and outreach activities. Much of our work is directed at the implications of economic and trade-related decisions and developments for trade policy. A number of our recent policy-focused workshops and projects are featured in this newsletter. We have also been working with local and international partners on ‘new’ themes, such as services trade and the digital economy, both of which have the potential to vastly improve South Africa’s (and Southern Africa’s) economic prospects in the years ahead.

Significant effort and contribution should never go unrecognised, and the last few months have seen a number of outstanding researchers and postgraduate students receive accolades at various awards functions. A highlight was the award of an honorary doctorate in international trade to Prof Ludo Cuyvers from Belgium, for his role in introducing the TRADE-DSM™ to South Africa some years ago and providing ongoing support to the project team in expanding its scope and application. The TRADE-DSM® was showcased at the recent SETHI Explosions, an annual event that recognises the innovative achievements of different faculties at North-West University.

I hope you enjoy this newsletter and that it will stimulate new ideas on how, together, we can continue to build more informed and confident communities of trade policymakers and practitioners.  

All the best

Welcome from Prof Wilma Viviers, director of TRADE

Archive newsletters

Issue #3/2017

Issue #2/2016

Issue #1/2015