GU-Q set to lead research project on global trade
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GU-Q set to lead research project on global trade

Georgetown University in Qatar (GU-Q) will lead a large collaborative research project funded by the National Priorities Research Programme of the Qatar National Research Fund. 
The project is scheduled to begin in the Fall of 2015 and will run for three years.
Known as TradeLab, short for “Legal Innovation To Empower Development:  Designing and Building an On-Line TradeLab in Qatar,” the project will assemble a global network of experts on international trade and trade law to empower smaller stakeholders, such as Qatar, to reap the full development benefits of global trade and investment rules. 
Many countries, including Qatar, are members of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and have also signed a large number of free trade agreements and investment protection treaties.  Trade and investment treaties regulate domestic policies ranging from health and the environment to energy and taxation. 
However, the rules for such agreements are often complex and involve WTO rules and case law, evolving principles in preferential trade agreements, contracts law and other international agreements, to stimulate or protect foreign direct investment. Stakeholders from both the public and private sector are often not aware of, or are not sufficiently informed about, these systems.
In some cases, access to legal expertise to influence negotiation or implementation of these treaties, or to be successful in the dispute settlement mechanisms set up under trade or investment regimes, is not available or too costly.
“With Georgetown University’s tradition of excellence in international law, economics and public policy, we are a natural host for a project that brings together the best scholars, analysts and policymakers to address these very real concerns,” said GU-Q director of Research, Dr John Crist. 
“Essentially, TradeLab will provide useful knowledge for policymakers, in Qatar and around the world, about negotiating, implementing and enforcing trade and investment treaties, along with access to global experts with substantial direct experience who can advise on specific issues and problems,” Dr Crist added. 
GU-Q will host and lead the project with visiting senior fellow Fadi Makki as the co-lead principal investigator. TradeLab also includes two collaborators with a Georgetown affiliation: Joost Pauwelyn, the lead principal investigator for the project, who is a professor of International Law at the Graduate Institute for International and Development Studies in Geneva and Prof. Marc Busch, who has several joint positions on the main campus of Georgetown University. 
There are two other collaborating institutions in the project: Qatar University’s Law School and Sergio Puig, associate professor of law and co-director of the International Trade and Business Law Programme at the University of Arizona.

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