News from the SECO / WTI Academic Cooperation Project
Thirty Vietnamese government officials got to grips with the World Trade Organization dispute settlement system on a three-day training course in Hanoi in early October.
The training formed part of a one-year Trade Policy executive course organised by the World Trade Institute (WTI) in the framework of its academic partnership with the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO).
Participants came from different departments of the Vietnamese Ministry of Industry and Trade (MOIT), including those dealing with WTO, FTA, competition and specific countries and regions. Most were from an economics or trade background.
Henry Gao, associate professor of law at Singapore Management University, delivered the course. It covered the basic features of the WTO dispute settlement system, including consultation, panel, appellate body and implementation processes; participation in WTO dispute settlement by Asian countries, especially China; and problems facing developing countries and possible solutions from both theoretical and practical perspectives.
The course content was covered in nine hours of lectures on 9-11 October.
“The participants were highly interested in the topic and asked many questions pertaining to Vietnam’s participation in the WTO dispute settlement system, especially the two cases that Vietnam has been involved in the WTO,” commented Professor Gao.
Participants were enthusiastic about the teaching, saying it had helped them understand the basic features of the WTO dispute settlement system, clarifying certain issues; learn from the experiences of other developing countries (especially China), and rethink their own participation strategies in the WTO dispute settlement system.
The one-year WTI-SECO programme for the Vietnamese government comprises training courses in Hanoi and at the WTO mission in Geneva, as well as weekly modules at the WTI in Bern.