A Shanghai university has opened China’s first international negotiations school to train the country’s future trade negotiators. 

The Shanghai University of International Business and Economics Wednesday inaugurated the trade talk school and the China institute for World Trade Organisation (WTO) studies. 

The honorary dean of the school is Zhou Hanmin, a renowned national political advisor and law expert based in Shanghai. 

The school will produce graduates in five areas – national representatives specialising in bilateral or regional agreement negotiations, national representatives for multilateral negotiations in international organisations, negotiators employed by international organisations, international dispute mediators and arbitrators, as well as lawyers specialising in international law. 

Sixteen years after China joined WTO, the country has transformed from a mere follower of international trade rules to one of the rule makers, Zhou said. 

“China urgently needs professional talent with a global vision, who are familiar with China’s national conditions and adept in foreign languages, international rules and negotiation skills,” he said. 

There are 450 Chinese employees in organisations affiliated to the United Nations, accounting for only 1 percent of the total employees, and many of them only hold entry-level positions. 

Zhou said the trade talk school will cooperate with the China institute for WTO studies to jointly nurture a team of Chinese experts in international negotiations. – Xinhua