After a two-year suspension due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Cohort 19 is the first group of students to attend the annual Geneva study tour. The study tour is the practical component for the fulfillment of the Masters degree at the Shridath Ramphal Centre (SRC) at the University of the West Indies (UWI).
The group comprised ten (10) specially funded students from the ACP TradeComII Programme. The ACP TradeCom II Programme seeks to support the agenda of the OECS regional integration by contributing to the full implementation of the OECS Economic Union through building capacity for public and private operators in the trade sector. Candidates from the six (6) OECS Protocol Member States were selected for the masters prgramme with the aim of producing a cadre of trained and certified trade policy professionals and practitioners to operationalize the exclusive competence of the OECS Commission in line with the Revised Treaty of Basseterre.
The two-week tour, facilitated by Dr. Jan Yves Remy and Mrs. Desiree Evelyn from the UWI SRC, provided students with practical knowledge of global trade. Participants had the experience of meeting ambassadors, diplomats, and other professionals in the field and visited various trade institutions such as the World Trade Centre (WTO), International Trade Centre (ITC), and the OECS Geneva Mission.
About the TradeCom II Programme:
The overall objective of the TradeCom II Programme is to contribute to sustainable economic development and poverty reduction in ACP countries through closer regional integration and increased participation in the global economy.
The Programme’s implementation strategy will facilitate the integration of OECS Member States in the global economy and value chains by improving their capacity to formulate and implement suitable trade policies and strengthening their competitiveness. The latter will target support to OECS private sector to diversify their export base, and markets also through greater integration into the regional and global value chains and simplifying, harmonising and regularly updating international compliance procedures including customs procedures. The overall strategy will entail building and strengthening OECS trade capacity at national and regional levels through a combination of technical assistance and capacity building actions like this scholarship programme.
The OECS Masters in Trade Policy scholarship covers tuition, books and a laptop; a return ticket to the students’ home country; accommodation and living expenses in Barbados. In addition to the lectures, the Programme includes a two-week study tour to Geneva, Switzerland, a research paper and a three-month internship. As a component of the project, students are also required to sign a two-year bond to their respective Governments upon completion of the Programme to ensure the sustainability of this project component and leverage the impact of the training received by the students.
About the Shridath Ramphal Centre for International Trade Law, Policy and Services:
The Shridath Ramphal Centre for International Trade Law, Policy and Services (SRC) is the Caribbean’s leading institute for training, outreach and research on international trade and development matters. The Centre is based at The University of the West Indies, Cave Hill in Barbados.