WTO training for professionals in Belarus
A specialized course for Belarusian professionals on how to conduct training and research on the World Trade Organization held in the Institute of Trade Policy of the National Research University "Higher School of Economics" in Moscow.

On 27 – 29 June 2018, a specialized course for raising qualifications of Belarusian lectures and professionals conducting trainings and research on the World Trade Organization was held in the Institute of Trade Policy of the National Research University "Higher School of Economics" (Moscow, Russian Federation).

According to Maksim Hubski, manager of the project "Assisting the Government of the Republic of Belarus in Accession to the World Trade Organization through Strengthening National Institutional Capacity and Expertise”, nine national experts have raised their qualifications at the course within the framework of the project. These are representatives of the Belarusian State University, the Belarus State Economic University and the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus.

Maksim Hubski also underlined that the activity had been held to establish a pool of WTO experts from educational and scientific environment. It is crucial to develop local expertise at the accession period for subsequent efficient work during Belarus’ membership in the given international organization.

The participants of the course shared their impressions.

Galina Turban, Head of World Business Department, the Belarus State Economic University, Ph.D., Associate Professor:

“There are currently very few highly qualified specialists on WTO issues in the Republic of Belarus. Training them in higher educational institutions is not a simple task.

Raising qualifications in the Higher School of Economics is an excellent opportunity to gain professional knowledge from the most authoritative professors about WTO norms and rules, corresponding national mechanisms of state regulation.

I really appreciated that not only leading lectures of the Higher School of Economics but also practitioners from the Eurasian Economic Commission and the Ministry of Economic Development of the Russian Federation conducted the course. They frankly shared their vast knowledge and experience on accession and membership of the Russian Federation in the WTO. They constantly facilitated lively discussion on various aspects of the WTO competence.

Participation in the course has also helped to exchange opinions with highly professional colleagues on training in higher education in the light of new realities in modern society”.

Olga Malashenkova, Deputy Dean for Educational Work of the Department of International Economic Relations, the Belarusian State University, Ph.D., Associate Professor:

“The course took place in the Higher School of Economics, one of the leading universities in Russia. QS World University Rankings by Economics ranks it first among Russian universities. And the course has confirmed it.

I really liked the balance of theoretical and practical concepts of discussion. Taking into account it was a refresher course the lectures managed to highlight key theoretical aspects the listeners had and at the same time paid attention to the details and practical issues related to WTO.

The complexity of the WTO accession and the multifaceted nature of correspondent commitments are realized by all countries that have passed through the process. Belarus is now in the process of harmonizing the WTO terms in various formats. Therefore, the six-year experience of the Russian Federation in the WTO, which the experts from Russian ministries and general supranational bodies (EEC) have shared, is extremely useful. It is a pity there was not enough time to discuss all the practical aspects of Belarus' accession to the WTO. Nevertheless, I am sure that the established contacts with colleagues from the Higher School of Economics and experts from the government will be very valuable for training on the new international trade standards for Belarus.

As I train students of the Faculty of International Relations of BSU - future specialists in foreign economic relations - the benefits of theoretical knowledge and practical competences obtained within the framework of the course will soon be reflected in the curricula and their research works.

I would like to thank UNDP, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Belarus, the Government of the Russian Federation and the Higher School of Economics, especially the Director of the Institute of Trade Policy Daniltsev A.V. and his colleagues for their valuable contribution to the establishment of the WTO expert community in Belarus”.

Natalia Kireenko, Deputy Director for Science, The Institute of System Research in Agroindustrial Complex of NAS of Belarus, Ph.D., Associate Professor:

“The course is very timely and useful for the Republic of Belarus considering that our country is in active negotiating phase of accession to the WTO and is the only member state of the EEU that has not joined the organization yet. Learning from the experience of the Russian Federation and other states is important for the national specialists in order to make our own path of social and economic development, which will allow minimizing risks and extracting the maximum benefit from membership in the WTO.

The issues of the most interest for the representatives of the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus are those about the terms of accession and commitments as well as their adaptation in line with the national priorities. The lectures have managed to reveal the issues fully as the majority of them have experience in negotiating the accession of the Russian Federation to the WTO and are acting WTO experts.

I would like to express my special gratitude to the colleagues from the Higher School of Economics for the high level of the course, the effective methodology, the use of an extensive practical base”.

A specialized course for raising qualifications has been held within the framework of the fifth phase of the project "Assisting the Government of the Republic of Belarus in Accession to the World Trade Organization through Strengthening National Institutional Capacity and Expertise”. The project is funded by the Government of the Russian Federation and is implemented by the United Nations Development Programme in partnership with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Belarus.

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