During the first week of June Anmar Pretorius and Derick Blaauw attended the International Trade and Finance Association (IT&FA’s) 27th International Conference at the Poznan University of Economics and Business, Poznan, Poland. The topic of the conference was: “Leading Issues in International Trade and Finance”. Delegates from afar as New Zealand, China, India and the United States converged in the beautiful city of Poznan. Both colleagues delivered papers at the conference. Anmar and Derick delivered a joint paper entitled: The Impact of Trade on Stock Market Integration of Emerging Markets. Anmar presented a paper entitled: Exports and Exchange Rate Risk: Analyzing Emerging Market Sectoral Exports – co-authored by Heinrich Nel.
The “Keynote speech” was delivered by Professor Leszek Balcerowicz of the Warsaw School of Economics with the theme “Systematic forces, shocks and economic growth”. Prof Balcerowicz was instrumental in Poland’s economic transition from a centrally planned economy to a market economy. Prof Balcerowicz is a former chairman of the National Bank of Poland and also served as Deputy Prime Minister in Tadeusz Mazowiecki’s government. During the lecture Prof Balcerowicz highlighted the importance of fast and sustainable economic growth without neglecting important social issues as a prerequisite for sustainable development.
This was followed by a Plenary Roundtable, chaired by Joseph Pelzman (George Washington University) with the topic of: “Global Economy in 2017 – Business, Institutional and Academic Perspective”. The rest of the conference consisted of 14 parallel sessions and ended with a guided walking tour of the city centre.
The Society’s President, Prof André Fourçans (ESSEC Business School, Paris) delivered an address at the Gala Dinner on the Economics of Climate Change. Issues dealt with included how economists analyse the phenomenon and its impact.
New contacts were made and the possibility of future engagement was discussed with some of the colleagues of the Poznan University of Economics and Business. Further information on the conference can be found at: http://www.itfaconference.org/
This afternoon we had the distinct pleasure of hosting Ed Kerby of LEAP at the School/TRADE seminar series. Ed presented a paper on the role that Asian migration and business networks played in international trade in the 1970’s and 80’s in South Africa. He has compiled a unique data set from previously embargoed and classified data showing an interesting shift to differentiated exports to Taiwan. Through using archival accounts he argues that the changes in trade occurred through what is known as the migrant-trade effect: his results suggest that Taiwanese entrepreneurs increased trade by forming business networks and supply chains linking them to Asian markets.
At TRADE the flagship model is the Decision Support Model used to identify export opportunities. Earlier Prof Wilma Viviers wrote a nice piece for the Mail and Guardian on how the TRADE-DSM Navigator can be used to identify markets for South African fruit exports. The model identifies export opportunities in terms of products and markets and takes account of factors such as country risk, logistics costs, trade barriers and the market potential. You can read more about it here.
Earlier we reported that Prof Wilma Viviers has been selected to hold a World Trade Organisation (WTO) chair. Last week Wednesday the NWU hosted the launch event and this blog will report on the work of the chair and the launch event in a number of posts this week. Prof Viviers is a research Professor and head of the TRADE research entity, but the work of the entity and her work as chair is closely linked to much of the research done in the School of Economics.
Prof Viviers with Mr David Shark, the Deputy Director-General of the WTO, Prof Dan Kgwadi, the NWU’s Vice-Chancellor and Mr Maarten Smeets of the WTO
The WTO Chairs Programme (WCP) spans a four-year period and involves a substantial grant. It aims to create a better understanding of the multilateral trading system among academics and policymakers in developing countries through a range of curriculum development, research and outreach activities conducted in selected research institutions such as the NWU. Professor Viviers’ appointment is the outcome of a rigorous international selection process aimed at identifying academics and academic institutions that, through their analytical work in the areas of trade policy and practice, are well placed to make a significant contribution to the policy-making process in their respective countries and regions.
The press release on the NWU website is available here.
You can watch a short video of Prof Viviers on YouTube, explaining the role of a WTO Chair.
Engineering News also had a good summary.