NEWSLETTER ISSUE #4/2017       

Staff and postgraduate students learn from the experts

In recent months TRADE has welcomed several guest speakers and training practitioners who have generously shared their insights and practical experiences on a range of topics with researchers and/or postgraduate students.

With all eyes on the shift in trade policy under the Trump Administration, Mr Edward Winant, Trade and Investment Officer at the US Embassy in Pretoria, gave a most informative guest lecture to staff and students in March on the future of SA-US trade and investment relations, with specific reference to AGOA (African Growth and Opportunity Act) which is due to expire in 2025. Mr Winant also speculated about SA-US relations post-AGOA and what the US is likely to expect from a future trade pact.

In April, Prof Henri Bezuidenhout broke new ground by running a workshop on cultural intelligence (CQ) for members of the TRADE team. Prof Bezuidenhout, the only person in South Africa to have been CQ certified at an advanced level, addressed the issue of how cultural aspects influence all stages of the trade cycle and can make or break trade deals. Cultural intelligence, i.e. the ability to seamlessly adapt to different cultural contexts, is regarded in many quarters as the key factor contributing to global business success. 

Also in April, Dr  Richard Cookson, an international legal and business specialist at Cape International, gave a guest lecture to the third year International Trade students on geographic economic windows, providing examples of what makes a country an economic window (e.g. Hong Kong) and what goes into retaining such status. This was followed by another guest lecture from Dr Cookson, this time to the Honours students, on export competencies. Emphasising the complexities of exporting, Dr Cookson explained that international marketing strategies need to flow from an understanding of the cultural orientations and value systems entrenched in identified target markets.

Another successful (two-part) academic writing skills development course for new Master’s and PhD students in TRADE took place in February and April this year. Conducted by the NWU Centre for Academic and Professional Language Practice (CAPLP), the writing course has come to be recognised as an excellent foundation for postgraduate students embarking on their new research journeys.

Further guest lectures in May, June and July focused on topics as wide-ranging as qualitative research methods, regional economic integration and dispute settlement in international trade. In May, Dr Gustav Brink from XA Consultants spoke to students of the International Trade Theory and Policy course about trade remedies in international trade and the dispute settlement process of the WTO. In June, Prof Brigitte Smit, a research professor in the Department of Educational Leadership and Management at UNISA (University of South Africa), presented a course for staff and students on qualitative research methodology and the convenience of the ATLAS.ti 8 software program in planning and executing various research tasks. In July, Prof Sid Suntrayuth from the National Institute of Development Administration (NIDA) in Bangkok, Thailand visited the NWU and shared his insights on regional integration in Asia in his guest lecture on ‘Thailand and the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC): Future opportunities and challenges’.  


Archive newsletters

Issue #3/2017

Issue #2/2016

Issue #1/2015