GU-Q Set to Lead TradeLab Research Project

Sep 1, 2015

Georgetown University in Qatar (GU-Q) Office of Research was approached by the Qatar National Research Fund (QNRF) to host a large collaborative research project funded by the National Priorities Research Program.  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. The project is scheduled to begin in Fall 2015 and will run for three years.

Many countries, including Qatar, are members of the World Trade Organization (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 (and especially in developing countries) 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 Professor of International Law at the Graduate Institute for International and Development Studies in Geneva (and also Visiting Professor of Law at Georgetown Law Center in Washington, D.C.), and Prof. Marc Busch, who has joint positions on main campus as Karl F. Landegger Professor of International Business Diplomacy at the School of Foreign Service, as well as Professor of Government, and Professor of Business Administration at Georgetown University. There are two other collaborating institutions on the project: Qatar University's Law School and Sergio Puig, Associate Professor of Law and co-Director of the International Trade and Business Law Program at the University of Arizona. 

About Georgetown University in Qatar

Established in 1789 in Washington, DC, Georgetown University is one of the world’s leading academic and research institutions. Georgetown University in Qatar (GU-Q), founded in 2005 in partnership with Qatar Foundation, seeks to build upon the world-class reputation of the university through education, research, and service. Inspired by the university’s mission of promoting intellectual, ethical, and spiritual understanding, GU-Q aims to advance knowledge and provide students and the community with a holistic educational experience that produces global citizens committed to the service of humankind.

Located in Doha’s Education City, GU-Q offers the same internationally recognized Bachelor of Science in Foreign Service degree as Georgetown’s Capitol Campus in Washington, DC. This unique, interdisciplinary program prepares students to tackle the most important and pressing global issues by helping them develop critical thinking, analytic, and communication skills within an international context. GU-Q alumni work in leading local and international organizations across industries ranging from finance to energy, education, and media. The Qatar campus also serves as a residency and delivery location for the Executive Master’s in Emergency and Disaster Management along with the Executive Master’s in Leadership.

For more information please contact the Office of Communications +974 445 78100.