Topic outline

  • General

    Short Courses for Geneva-based Diplomats - 2014 series

    The UNCTAD secretariat is pleased to announce a second semester of short courses on key issues on the international economic agenda for delegates from permanent missions in Geneva.

    The aim of the courses is to give delegates from permanent missions an opportunity to become better acquainted with topical issues and developments on the international economic agenda as they are reflected in the work of UNCTAD. More detailed information on the content of individual courses may be found in the attached programme.

  • Topic 1

    15 December 2014 (room XXV) – Transfer of technology and development: Key policy issues and recent national experiences

    This course will discuss key issues related to the use of technology transfer for growth and development and present several national experiences with the transfer of technology for industrial development. The first part of the course will review key issues that have a bearing on policies and strategies for the transfer of technology by developing economies to promote growth and development. The second part will discuss the experiences of several developing economies in Africa, Asia and Latin America in using technology transfer to develop dynamic domestic industries. Discussions will be based on the work of UNCTAD in science, technology and innovation policies, including the results of two forthcoming UNCTAD studies on the transfer of technology for development; the first on general science, technology and innovation and technology transfer issues and the second on selected case studies of technology transfer in developing economies. The discussion will draw on evidence gathered by the UNCTAD programme of national science, technology and innovation policy reviews.

    Delivered by the Division on Technology and Logistics

  • Topic 2

    4 November 2014 (room XXVII) – Global value chains: Enhancing the participation of small and medium-sized enterprises from a development perspective

     This course introduces the concept of global value chains, the role of transnational corporations in their management and the opportunities that are available to developing countries. The course will review the policy implications of enhancing the participation of small and medium-sized enterprises from a development perspective. Speakers will highlight that, while policy measures may vary at national levels and by industry, there is a need to develop measures for supply capacity in order to integrate small and medium-sized enterprises or upgrade their activities in order to maximize benefits from integrating international production systems. There is also a need for the Governments of developing countries to review existing promotion activities for small and medium-sized enterprises and for exports to ensure that such activities fit with the new realities and requirements of regional and global markets. Finally, the course will address the need for targeted technical assistance projects at the international level, preferably within a public–private partnership framework, aimed at promoting sustainable sourcing within value chains and increasing productive capacities in developing countries.

    Delivered by the Division on Investment and Enterprise


  • Topic 3

    1 October 2014 (room XXIV) – Proactive fiscal, trade and industrial policies and their role in attaining development goals

    Developing countries need effective policy instruments in order to pursue rapid and inclusive economic growth and meet future global development goals. This course focuses on the role of proactive fiscal, trade and industrial policies, examining recent experiences, historical evidence and theoretical insights. Including speakers from several branches of the Division, the course will highlight examples of countries that have successfully implemented industrial policies despite heightened constraints from international governance systems. Speakers will discuss some of the most important reasons why interest in such policies has revived since the turn of the century on the part of both developed and developing countries. The course will conclude by showing why and how global governance needs to be reformed, multilateral mechanisms need to be strengthened and policy space needs to be preserved, if development goals are to be attained. A debate on the issues and the sharing of experiences by participants will be encouraged.

    Delivered by the Division on Globalization and Development Strategies

  • Topic 4

    21 May 2014 (room XXV) – UNCTAD Programme on Non-tariff Measures in World Trade

    In a context where tariffs have significantly decreased over the last few decades, non-tariff measures (NTMs) have become major determinants in restricting market entry, particularly for developing countries. In fact, UNCTAD research shows that the ability to gain and benefit from market access increasingly depends on compliance with trade regulatory measures such as sanitary requirements and goods standards. This is why they have become a major challenge for exporters, importers and policymakers. Understanding the uses and implications of these trade policy instruments is essential for the formulation and implementation of effective trade policies and development strategies. 

    This session will explore the findings of UNCTAD’s work on NTMs, which encompasses definition, classification, collection of data and analysis of trade impact. A new online training tool to increase understanding of NTMs will also be presented.

    Delivered by: Division on International Trade in Goods and Services, and Commodities

  • Topic 5

    23 April 2014 (room XXV) – Information and Communications Technologies for Development: The Cloud Economy and Developing Countries

    The evolving landscape of information and communication technologies (ICTs) is opening new opportunities for countries to address development challenges. Cloud computing is one example that offers the potential for enhanced efficiency and innovation. However, options for cloud adoption in low- and middle-income countries look different from those in more advanced economies. While free cloud services such as webmail and online social networks are already widely used, the scope for cloud adoption is much smaller. In particular, the gap in availability of cloud-related infrastructure between developed and developing countries is widening, especially vis-à-vis the least developed countries. In addition, many developing countries also need to consider how to address legal and regulatory concerns related to cloud use and cross-border data transfers.

    This short course on ICT for development will draw on the research for the Information Economy Report 2013: the Cloud Economy and Developing Countries to examine recent trends and explore how governments and their development partners can leverage cloud computing. Special emphasis will be given to the infrastructure challenges involved and to relevant legal and regulatory issues, for example related to data protection, privacy and cybercrime.

    Delivered by: Division on Technology and Logistics

  • Topic 6

    24 March 2014 (room XXV) – Rethinking the Global Development Agenda: A 50-Year Perspective

    The title of this session reflects the fact that 2014 is the fiftieth year in which UNCTAD and its member States have been leading efforts to promote more inclusive and sustainable development. Presentations will compare the trade, debt and development challenges and possibilities considered most pressing at UNCTAD’s birth, a half century ago, with the landscape that countries are facing today. Today’s forecasts for global trade and growth are low compared to prospects historically; but because country-specific goals and macroeconomic possibilities are more diverse, the multilateral environment is more fragmented. Globalized finance and capital markets play a much more prominent and very different role, provoking both positive and negative implications. Jobless growth, rising inequality and greater insecurity stand in stark contrast to new growth opportunities associated with technological progress, increased trade and capital flows and emerging economic powers. Rising levels of public and private debt remain a concern given the financial stability that is needed for social and economic development, but new mechanisms for debt management can create fresh opportunities for borrowers and lenders alike. Member States will be encouraged to share their experiences and views as we examine these topics through the lens of 50 years of inter-governmental activities, technical cooperation and research and development.

    Delivered by: Division on Globalization and Development Strategies