22 Apr 2013

WTI Awards Accreditation for Curriculum Developed by PITAD

The WTI recently concluded an important aspect of its capacity building support of the Pakistan Institute of Trade and Development (PITAD) by awarding accreditation to graduate-level training modules.

Aimed at enabling PITAD to build-up its capacity for delivering training modules, the WTI helped to develop a joint WTI-PITAD certificate course on international trade law and commercial diplomacy deployed in Pakistan.

Part of a partnership agreement between the WTI and PITAD, the capacity-building programme is facilitated by the International Trade Centre (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). The programme’s objective is to strengthen PITAD, who will then, in turn, impart its knowledge to government officers on trade policy issues.

"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 policy makers 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, the WTI’s Director of External Programmes and Academic Partnerships, who mentored a PITAD module on trade in services in 2011.

Over a period of two years, a total of thirteen trade policy modules were developed by Pakistani Master Trainers with the support of leading international experts drawn from the ranks of WTI faculty and its global network. The modules – which were completed through a combination of distance learning and face to face interaction during three weeks of training in Bern – include:

•    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

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.

In 2012, the joint certificate was awarded to 35 trainee officers at PITAD. The joint certificate holders will receive a waiver for the modules covered by the joint certificate should they choose to pursue the Master in International Law and Economics (MILE Programme) at the WTI. According to Syed Kausar Ali Zaidi, Director of Training and Trade Policy, 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.

Through the support of the TRTA programme, PITAD has held numerous training sessions for government officers on pressing trade issues. The sessions make use of the upgraded curriculum and trainers, and thereby provide a valuable platform for testing the trainers as well as the curriculum developed. WTI mentors also provided valuable inputs in lecturing via video-conference as well as advising on the content of the programme.  

Through PITAD’s competency in delivering these training sessions as well as those previously undertaken, PITAD 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 one hundred 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.

Two provincial departments of the Punjab government have requested PITAD for assistance in holding training sessions and providing master trainers for those trainings. A further example is that of PITAD offering a one-week training course through the Ministry of Commerce to officials from the Government of Tajikistan. Similar training programmes will be offered by PITAD to Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) countries.

For a detailed case study on the WTI's collaboration with PITAD, click here.