1 June 2017: TRADE-WTO awards function
Three separate WTO-sponsored awards as well as one TRADE award were presented at the TRADE-WTO awards function held at the NWU on 1 June 2017. The WTO awards were for the best Master's degree dissertation in International Trade, the best article on a WTO-related topic and the most promising Honours student in International Trade. The TRADE award was for the best article in the TRADE research entity. These awards aim to recognise and encourage excellent scholarship and research on WTO-related themes.
Mr Mario Bondesio received the award for the best Master's degree dissertation in International Trade in 2016, titled: 'Determining the market accessibility of South African exports'.
Prof Marianne Matthee, Ms Tasha Naughtin, Mr Thomas Farole and Prof Neil Rankin received the award for the best research paper on a WTO-relate topic in 2016, titled: 'South Africa exporters and the global crisis: intensive margin shock, extensive margin hangover'.
Ms Leoné du Toit Snyman received the award for the most promising Honours student in International Trade in 2017 following some excellent academic results during the first semester of the year.
Dr Johnny van der Merwe, Prof Flippie Cloete and Dr Marinka van der Hoeven received the award for the best article in the TRADE research entity, titled: 'Promoting food security through indigenous and traditional food crops'.
30 May-1 June 2017: WTO workshop on GVCs and Trade in Value Added
The TRADE research entity was privileged to host a WTO Workshop on Global Value Chains (GVCs) and Trade in Value Added (TiVA) as part for their WTO Chair's programme to researchers, policymakers and PhD students from 30 May to 1 June 2017. The two presenters of the workshop for the first two days, were Mr Christophe Degain, Senior Statistician and Dr Victor Kummritz, Research Economist. Both presenters work in the Economic Research and Statistics Division of the WTO in Geneva, Switzerland.
The first day of the workshop was aimed at explaining the context of global trade, and the development of global and regional value chains in recent years. Focus was given to the different measurements of trade in value added and value chains. The presenters gave an in-depth explanation of the different data sources, and specifically gave live demos of the OECD-WTO TiVA database and its uses.
The second day of the workshop gave more focus to the theory and economic principles that underpin GVCs. The discussion also incorporated the policy perspective and how to incorporate value chains into trade and investment policies. South Africa's TiVA country profile was also discussed. More detailed focus was also given to the role of services in GVCs, and the WTO's online I-TIP Services tool was explained.
The third day of the workshop consisted of a guest lecture by Ms Elizabeth van Renen, Chief Director: Trade Policy and Research at the Department of Trade and Industry in South Africa. Her focus was on the role of GVCs and context of developmental integration in South Africa as well as the SADC region. Her presentation provided an insightful explanation of the current developments in the region, as well as potential for further development. The final presentation was by Mr Martin Cameron on the TRADE-DSM methodology and the TRADE-DSM Navigator and its use for export promotion purposes and specifically to identify realistic export opportunities.
26 May 2017: North-West University awards honorary doctorate to world renowned economist
Prof Ludo Cuyvers, an acclaimed international trade economist and leading authority on the role of export promotion in building a competitive and sustainable export sector, was awarded an honorary doctorate in international trade from the North-West University (NWU) on 26 May 2017. Prof Cuyvers’ association with the NWU, and the TRADE research entity, started in early 2000 in a ground-breaking project to adapt an export market selection tool, the Decision Support Model (DSM), which was first implemented in Cuyvers’ home country, Belgium, to South Africa’s specific circumstances. It is a practical and scientifically based tool used by national and provincial governments and private institutions (both in South Africa and other parts of the world) to pinpoint realistic export opportunities from the virtual mountains of information available on different product categories and markets. More information can be found here.
28 February 2017: From Trade Rules to Trade Deals: Whither US Trade Policy in the Trump Administration?
Organised in collaboration with BUSA, Agbiz, Tutwa Consulting and the JCCI, TRADE hosted a thought-provoking debate on the likely trajectory of US trade policy in the months ahead and how South Africans should respond. For more information, consider the press release: US trade policy in the Trump era: What's in store for South Africa and the world? or visit Tutwa Consulting.