At the opening of the course, Deputy Director-General Anabel González underscored the importance of quantitative analysis to support trade negotiations and trade policy formulation, implementation, and monitoring. She stressed how quantitative methodologies, such as those utilized in the WTO Trade Cost Index, can be used to address trade barriers and positively impact people's lives.

The training activity was designed and delivered by the WTO Economic Research and Statistics Division. It is based on “A Practical Guide to Trade Policy Analysis” and “An Advanced Guide to Trade Policy Analysis” — two publications by the WTO and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD). The course was organized in close collaboration with the WTO Institute for Training and Technical Cooperation and the Information Technology Solutions Division.

The course benefitted from the lectures of Professor Yoto Yotov (Drexel University and University of Munich). Professor Yotov presented the latest advances in trade policy modelling. He showed how long-term impacts of trade policy changes, such as signing a regional trade agreement, can be simulated using a gravity model of trade.

Participants learned about different methodologies to conduct trade and trade policy analysis, including computing trade flows and trade policy indicators and properly estimating the gravity model of trade. They also familiarized themselves with data sources on trade and trade policies. Theoretical lectures were complemented by hands-on and problem-solving applications with Stata software. The course also served as a forum to discuss ways to enhance the use of economic research in policy making.

Deputy Director-General Xiangchen Zhang closed the course by calling on the participants to apply the economic tools they learned for the benefit of well-informed policy making. He further encouraged participants to share their new knowledge and experience with colleagues in their ministries in order to build collective knowledge and expertise.

The course programme is available here.




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