Twenty-six government officials from across the world took part in an Advanced Course on the Economic Analysis of Trade Policy at the WTO from 26 July to 3 August 2018. The course taught participants ways to carry out trade policy research, collect data and implement quantitative analysis in a more autonomous way

The course highlighted the importance of analyzing economic data and assessing the impact of trade policy decisions at the national level and in multilateral, regional and bilateral trade negotiations. Participants became familiar with sources of data and methodologies to analyze trade and trade policy, including to estimate the impact of certain determinants on trade flows, and to calculate trade policy indicators. The course also provided a platform to discuss ways of enhancing the use of research in policy making.

The course was opened by the WTO's Deputy Director-General Yi Xiaozhun. In his address, he said that analyzing the economic effects of trade policy quantitatively can be very useful in helping WTO members formulate efficient trade policies.

The activity is based on two joint UNCTAD/WTO publications, "A Practical Guide to Trade Policy Analysis" and "An Advanced Guide to Trade Policy Analysis". Participants also heard from Professor Yoto Yotov of the American University Drexel about the latest advances in trade policy analysis, including a model to simulate the long-term impact of trade policy changes.

The chief of the Course Design and Training Section of the WTO's Institute for Training and Technical Cooperation (ITTC), Raymundo Valdés, closed the course by encouraging the participants to use the tools they learned, including by sharing among their colleagues, to support well-informed policy making.

The course – designed by Marc Bacchetta, Cosimo Beverelli, Jose-Antonio Monteiro and Roberta Piermartini of the WTO's Economic Research and Statistics Division – was delivered jointly with the ITTC and was offered as part of the WTO's technical assistance and capacity building courses. It represents the highest level of “specialist” training within the WTO's progressive learning framework.

Extracted from WTO