Training, capacity-building and executive education programmes

at the International Trade Policy Unit

The International Trade Policy Unit (ITPU) offers to design, organise and deliver training programmes on trade and trade-related issues for trade practitioners and policy makers, business interests, and civil society groups. These courses can be held and conducted either at LSE or in a host institution virtually anywhere in the world.

Training programmes typically fall into the following categories:

  • World Trade Organization (WTO) awareness programmes: Ideal for diplomats, civil servants, business interests, and civil society groups who wish to familiarise themselves with how the multilateral system works and with contemporary developments

  • Courses in contemporary trade issues: Ideal for practitioners and those with some knowledge of the system to bring themselves up to speed on current issues and how they are likely to develop

  • Regional trade agreements or regional issues in trade agreements: Ideal for people interested in the functioning of the EU or North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), and how these agreements work and differ from the multilateral system. Also ideal for policy makers looking at possible regional options

  • Courses on economic or trade diplomacy: Ideal for developing or transition economy trade policy practitioners and diplomats dealing with the complex interrelationship between trade negotiations and other types of economic diplomacy

  • Capacity building courses for developing countries: Ideal for developing countries, particularly small and isolated island economies, or less developed countries (LDCs), who find it difficult to participate meaningfully in trade negotiations at either the regional or multilateral levels

The ITPU can also design and conduct training programmes and courses that address the specific needs of a client or interest.

Examples of capacity building

Capacity building work in CARIFORUM

As part of a Europaid funded programme the ITPU has been coordinating capacity building in the field of government procurement for the Caribbean region.  This programme, which ran from 2015-2017 was related to the implementation of the EU – CARIFORUM Economic Partnership Agreement. This project has involved the delivery of six week-long programmes for procurement officials and policy makers from across the Caribbean.  At a time when all the CARIFORUM states are in the process of reforming their procurement regimes, this has come at an opportune and interesting time.   The project has brought together ITPU affiliated experts with regional experts to develop training materials for procurement practitioners across the Caribbean.  In this way it has contributed to the development of a professional cadre of procurement practitioners that is a key prerequisite of transparent and effective public procurement.  As such it has had a direct impact on the procurement reform process across the region.

In order to ensure the sustainability of the capacity building effort the ITPU, working with the University of the West Indies has also developed and established a course on public procurement.  Delivered via an e-learning platform established at the Shirdath Ramphal Centre of the University of the West Indies at Cave Hill Barbados, this provides access to master’s level option of international standing for students across the region.

ITPU contributions to UK trade capacity in 2017

The ITPU was established in 1999 in part to promote trade capacity in the UK and beyond.  The insight was that trade policy was becoming more complex and involving more interests, but that at the same time the number of people who had a detailed understanding of trade and investment policy and negotiations was diminishing. Recent developments such as the result of the UK referendum on membership of the European Union and the apparent backlash against an open, rules-based trade and investment order, has confirmed the need for a more informed debate on trade and investment policy.  In the UK the prospect of leaving the EU necessitates the development of an independent national trade policy.

As part of the wider LSE contribution to the post referendum debate, the ITPU developed a trade negotiation programme to help enhance the capacity of UK officials and stakeholders to develop a UK trade and investment policy.  Through Enterprise LSE the ITPU has run an initial series of sessions on trade negotiations for UK officials who are currently working on UK policy.  These sessions, run through Enterprise LSE,  were run in the first three months of 2017 and drew upon the extensive expertise on trade and investment across the various LSE departments as well as international experts from outside the LSE that have affiliation with the ITPU.

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