About the Institute

Who we are

The World Trade Institute (WTI) is the leading interdisciplinary academic institution dedicated to teaching and research focused on international trade and investment regulation, economic globalisation and sustainability. As a centre of excellence at the University of Bern with an international, interdisciplinary focus, we explore the interconnections between the fields of law, economics and political science.

What we do

The WTI combines graduate-level education, interdisciplinary research and specialised advisory services in a unique and dynamic institution. We recruit students, researchers, faculty and employees from around the world, creating a diverse culture and stimulating environment.

The WTI closely cooperates with the Institute of European and International Economic Law, which shares the same premises.

Vision, mission and values


  • A world where international trade and investment create a prosperous future for all
  • The World Trade Institute is recognised as the world's leading interdisciplinary academic institution for studies, teaching and research in international economic governance
  • Our alumni are tomorrow’s leaders in the field of international economic governance


  • Shape public policy so that international economic governance yields tangible benefits for society
  • Promote sustainable trade and sustainable global governance
  • Contribute to a better understanding of the legal, economic and political frameworks governing globalisation and sustainable development
  • Provide cutting-edge research and scholarly outputs on frontier topics
  • Excel in our teaching, research and outreach activities to remain at the forefront of academic excellence at the University of Bern, in Switzerland and globally
  • Attract top graduate students from around the world and give them the knowledge and skills to excel in their career


  • Openness: We share knowledge and conduct interdisciplinary research with peers worldwide
  • Innovation: We generate original ideas to shape tomorrow
  • Equity: We are inclusive, we value merit and do not discriminate on any ground
  • Sustainability: We ensure institutional memory, knowledge transfer and public diffusion
  • Caring: We care about the mental and physical well-being of our students, researchers and staff


With just under 19,500 students, the University of Bern is one of the largest universities in Switzerland.

Discover the University of Bern - Knowledge creates Value!

The institute was founded upon the conclusion of the Uruguay Round of the GATT and the advent of the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 1995. It was established in 1999 to train future practitioners and researchers from all over the world and to strengthen research capacities in areas that have an increasing impact on people's lives. The financial crisis in 2008 showed the importance of not only a stable and open multilateral trading system under the auspices of the WTO but also organisations and agreements promoting regional integration.

Quality assurance and development

Quality assurance and development is important to the World Trade Institute. Our efforts are based on the quality strategy of the University of Bern (Quality Strategy of the University of Bern). With internal course and related reviews and scientific reporting we aim to meet the university guidelines on quality. Selected courses offered by the World Trade Institute in the context of its Master programmes were subject to course evaluation by the faculties of the University of Bern, and have been very positively assessed. Besides quality in research and education, we are also promoting gender equality and sustainability.


WTI Annual Reports