The Investment and Trade Policy Centre was established in 2002 with the view to train public officials involved with Trade and Investment, whether they negotiate trade agreements with other countries, work in customs offices, or represent the country in foreign missions. Currently, research mainly revolves around intra-Africa trade, export promotion, trade facilitation and trade barriers.
Investment & Trade Policy Centre
The Investment & Trade Policy Centre (ITPC) was established by and resides within the University of Pretoria’s Department of Economics. Its primary focus is the development of competencies and capacity in the areas of trade policy, specifically aimed at developing countries. The ITPC assists in achieving this through training and research initiatives.
Research focuses mainly around international trade in general, intra-Africa trade and export promotion. It includes the impact of issues such as trade facilitation and trade barriers as constraining factors. A research contribution of late was a research study on the Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA) and Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT), to be used in the current round of negotiations on the envisaged CFTA in Africa. This research was done in co-operation with the Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt Braunschweig und Berlin (Nationales Metrologieinstitut) which is involved in setting trade standards for the European Union. In addition, an international trade gravity model between South Africa and 147 trading partners within 33 economic sectors was also developed, to be used for trade policy analysis by the Department of Trade and Industry. The main aim of this model is to determine trade potential to a given country, within a specific economic sector.
The ITPC was established with the intention and commitment to complement its own expertise through relationships fostered with recognised international experts. It is constantly striving to develop and extend its affiliations and collaborations with institutions in South Africa as well as globally. In this way, it endeavours to establish a centre of excellence and relevant expertise with a particular perspective that is grounded in the experience and needs of the developing economies. Membership includes the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) with 134 associated university members. Furthermore, membership also includes numerous African and international academic institutions. These networks also focuses on exposing graduate students to research collaboration and research exchange.