The University of West Indies (UWI) and the European University Institute (EUI) brought together researchers and practitioners recently for an e-dialogue to exchange thoughts and best practices on trade and economic affairs between the two regions.
The event, entitled, COVID-19 and trade – Sharing the experiences of the Caribbean and Europe, was the first initiative stemming from a partnership agreement between the two universities signed in July.
The e-dialogue was led by the two principals responsible for executing objectives specified in the partnership agreement — Dr Luz Longsworth, pro vice-chancellor, global affairs at The UWI, and principal of its Open Campus, along with Professor Bernard Hoekman, director of the global economics research area of the global governance programme, dean of external relations at the EUI.
Among the topics discussed included the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on international supply chains and the trade policy responses of international governments. Speakers highlighted concerning contemporary relations between Caribbean and EU territories such as blacklisting and restrictions on food and medical products during the pandemic, and the potential for plurilateral agreements and mutual agendas in the future.
The purpose of the event was to provide a forum for information-sharing, comparative analysis and debate of interest to policymakers, academia, researchers and the public.
“The coming together of our two regions — the Caribbean and the EU — linked by history, but also by being two common markets in the world that are working, is significant as we share experience and find possible collaborations to find solutions,” said Dr Longsworth.
She added that the relationship is a part of the overall UWI Global strategy of critical collaboration and partnerships with world class universities on every continent.