Trade policy courses

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The purpose of the trade policy courses is to ensure that participants are thoroughly exposed to all WTO-related issues, and develop practical skills as well as an extensive network of contacts. They also serve as a general introduction for those who may become specialists at a later stage.


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Geneva-based trade policy courses (TPCs)

TPCs comprise a series of interactive modules, with lectures, exercises and simulations, covering all the areas of work of the WTO. They also include visits to other international organizations active in trade-related matters as well as attendance at selected meetings of WTO bodies. Regular briefings on WTO work-in-progress, and attendance at WTO meetings, are an integral part of the TPCs. Contacts with WTO experts, with experts from WTO Member missions, and from other international organizations are also a common feature. Moreover, participants are encouraged to establish contacts with experts in relevant divisions of the WTO Secretariat, to pursue discussions of interest to their country with experts in specific fields, prepare for national and regional training events with the regional coordinators in ITTC and build working relations with WTO officials.

In terms of objectives, it is expected that, at the end of the Geneva-based TPCs, the participants will have:

  • developed a good understanding of all aspects of the WTO, including the Agreements (transfer of knowledge);
  • improved analytical and negotiating skills (improvement of skills);
  • learned to use effectively the relevant information and documentation on trade-related issues (autonomy);
  • strengthened capacity to work in teams and in an international environment (team work);
  • established and/or strengthened a network of contacts with each other and the trainers/experts (network).

The TPCs are organized by the ITTC, and call on experts from operational divisions and the specialized support of outside consultants. Guest speakers from other organizations, in particular from the International Trade Centre (ITC), the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and the World Bank are regularly invited. Presentations of the activities of the Advisory Centre for WTO Law (ACWL) and the Agency for International Trade Information and Cooperation (AITIC) also constitute regular features of the programme.

Details of the courses to be held this year can be found here.


How to participate

Regional trade policy courses (RTPCs)

RTPCs are built on the same model as Geneva-based TPCs and are delivered in partnership with an institution of higher learning in different regions of the world. Government officials from each specific region participate in the training and the courses adapt to regional specificities in terms of number of participants from each country. The courses are co-delivered by officials from the WTO Secretariat and academics and trade policy specialists from the region. There is a natural complementarity between the WTO expertise and regional expertise which renders this type of training comprehensive and adapted to local needs.

So while the key objectives of RTPCs are the same as for the Geneva-based courses, and provide similar training opportunities, the RTPCs are also expected to contribute to:

  • building institutional partnerships at the regional level for capacity-building activities;
  • giving the course a regional focus and relevance; and,
  • fostering networks among institutions of higher learning and their academics.

In conjunction with each RTPC, a preparatory three-day workshop is held for academics and trade specialists who co-deliver the course. The workshop provides a detailed briefing on the objectives of the RTPC project, bilateral meetings with WTO trainers, updating on the status of ongoing work in the WTO and exchanges on research activities. The workshop is an integral part of the RTPC project as it helps to build the institutional partnership, contextualizes the joint lecturing arrangements and facilitates the building of an academic network.

The institutional partnerships by definition can only be forged with a single institution within a region at any one time, but the co-lecturers are drawn from institutions of higher learning and other sources from throughout the region. Thus, linkages are established and/or reinforced with the academic community as part of an integrated approach for sustainable capacity building.

The partnership between the regional institution and the ITTC evolves over time, with the RTPC being considered as Phase 1 of the project.

Details of the courses to be held this year can be found here.


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How to participate