Trade policy curriculum developed by Pakistan’s PITAD wins international accreditation
Graduate-level training modules developed by the Pakistan Institute of Trade and Development (PITAD) were accredited by Switzerland’s World Trade Institute at a meeting attended by officials of PITAD, WTI and the International Trade Centre (ITC) in Bern on 3 September 2013.
The curriculum was developed as part of a programme managed by ITC in the context of the trade policy capacity-building component of the European Union-funded Trade Related Technical Assistance Programme for Pakistan (TRTA II). A main objective of the programme was to strengthen PITAD, which will then, in turn, impart its knowledge to government officers on trade policy issues, ultimately leading to increased exports.
The Director-General of PITAD, Mr Sajid Hussain, expressed his strong desire to continue the partnership between the WTI, ITC and PITAD.
Based in Bern, the WTI is a centre of advanced studies and a forum for interdisciplinary research and teaching in international trade law and economics that helped to develop a joint WTI-PITAD certificate course on International Trade Law and Commercial Diplomacy deployed in Pakistan.
‘This project has helped us devise an innovative means of building sustainable trade policy capacity. We hope to be able to influence future generations of policymakers by providing them with a firmer analytical base with which to design and implement trade policy, whilst also offering PITAD the means to export its own strengthened training services throughout the region,’ said Pierre Sauvé, WTI’s Director of External Programmes and Academic Partnerships. Sauvé mentored a PITAD module on trade in services in 2011.
PITAD is an independent Pakistani policy think tank and training centre on international trade that provides specialised training to newly inducted officers of the Commerce and Trade Group. With the support of leading international experts drawn from the ranks of WTI faculty and its global network, Pakistani master trainers have developed a total of 12 trade policy modules since 2011.
Over the past two years, the programme has awarded certificates to a total of 38 newly inducted Commerce and Trade Group officers of Pakistan’s Civil Service. The ultimate goal of PITAD is to offer a fully accredited Master’s Programme that meets the standards of the WTI, a global leader in graduate training on trade governance. Additionally, many aspects of the curriculum were also delivered in a specialised training course for future commercial officers abroad.
‘Since the programme had sought to build local capacity rather than rely on international experts to deliver the trainings, it bodes well for the sustainability of the approach,’ said ITC’s Andrew Huelin, who oversaw the day-to-day running of the programme.
Underscoring the growing demand for PITAD’s services, Mohammad Owais Khan, ITC’s project coordinator in Pakistan, noted that the training of over 400 representatives from government, the private sector and civil society under the programme had been very well appreciated.
Through PITAD’s competence in delivering these trainings, the institute is now generating a greater demand for its upgraded training services. For instance, in January 2013, the Punjab government hired the services of PITAD to conduct training sessions on the Economics and Policy of Non-Tariff Measures (a module developed under the programme), which was attended by more than 100 participants. The Punjab government considers further training essential to ensure its officers are better equipped and can contribute more readily in the policy formulation and implementation process, Khan said.
As envisaged in the WTI-PITAD partnership agreement, the jointly-accredited modules were delivered to Specialized Training Programme (STP) trainee officers.
A WTI-PITAD Certificate in International Trade Law and Commercial Diplomacy will be awarded to successful officers on a yearly basis.
Modules are completed through a combination of distance learning over a period of three to four months and face-to-face interaction during three weeks of training in Bern.
Currently, the models offered by the WTI-PITAD curriculum are:
• Trade in agriculture
• Trade policy formulation
• Trade policy competitiveness analysis
• Regional integration: a comparative legal framework
• Trade in services: Law and economics and Pakistan sectoral priorities
• Techniques of international trade negotiations
• Trade-related aspects of intellectual property rights
• Trade remedies
• Dispute settlement
• Investment law and policy
• The economics and policy of non-tariff measures
• Trade, environment and climate change
More information about the ITC implemented Component 1 and the TRTA-II programme is available here.