UKZN’s School of Economics and Finance recently hosted the second NETRIS seminar. The seminar Prospects for Trade and Economic Integration in ACP countries: Challenges Facing Regionalism and Regional Integration Arrangements fostered much discussion and the exchange of experience (theoretical, empirical and policy relevance) on the key benefits, challenges and prospects of regionalism and regional integration arrangements, from a trading and economic integration perspective.

The first Network for Regional Integration Studies (NETRIS) seminar Researching and Advancing the Good Governance Dimension of Regional Integration took place at the University of the West Indies (UWI) in March 2010. The UKZN representative at the UWI, Miss Vanessa Tang, Lecturer in the School of Economics and Finance gave a presentation on developmental challenges within the Southern African Development Community (SADC).

The seminar was opened by Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Head of the College of Law and Management Studies, Professor John Mubangizi; Mr Eric Maertens, Senior Supervisor of NETRIS and representative of the College of Europe and the United Nations University; and Professor Trevor Jones, Head of the School of Economics and Finance.

Academic contributions from the UKZN School of Economics and Finance to the second NETRIS seminar covered a number of important issues. UKZN Emeritus Professor Merle Holden and Ms Tang gave a presentation on Competitive Bilateralism or Regionalism: A South African Perspective.  Dr Richard Simson gave two presentations: the first on behalf of Professor Darma Mahadea on Development challenges in African Countries and a second presentation on Perfect Competition, Monopoly, Derived Demand and Free Trade. Ms Pamela Koch, a Masters student in the School of Economics together with Ms Tang and Professor Tennassie Nichola gave a presentation on the Supply Side of Food Security in the East African Community.

International contributions from Europe and the African Caribbean and Pacific Group (ACP) included: From the College of Europe and United Nations University Ms Maria Macovei, Mr Eric Maertens and Dr Stephen Kingah on Regional Integration and Labour Policies in Western Southern Africa, Trade Openness and its Impact on Employment and Inequality and the EU and Economic Partnerhip Agreements respectively; From the European Centre for Development Policy Ms Kathleen Van Hove spoke on the Challenges of Translating Regional Integration Commitments at National Level.

From the Université Cheikh Anta Diop Dr Seydi Dieng looked at the Impact of Regional integration in West African States and Professor Saidou Tall discussed the Participation of non-state actors in integration policies: challenges and constraints at the ECOWAS and UEMOA
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