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The e-learning course on trade and sustainable development goals is a self-paced training course. The course is open to anyone interested in trade and sustainable development issues. It employs a non-technical approach to build basic knowledge to understand the roles and limitations of trade and trade policy in promoting a country's achievement of the SDGs. Free certificates from the United Nations ESCAP will be available to participants who passed the module quizzes.



Develop a positive, aware, and critical attitude toward trade, trade liberalization, and globalization in contributing to sustainable development

What you will learn: 

  • Understand the potential role of trade that can contribute to developing countries’ achievement of the SDGs.
  • Identify factors that inhibit the effective use of trade as a means of implementation.
  • Be aware of cross-cutting issues that challenge the effectiveness of trade as an instrument toward the SDGs.
  • Recognize the importance of the holistic policy approach as being crucial for ensuring trade is a powerful engine for inclusive growth and sustainable development.

Who are eligible: 

  • This course is open to anyone interested in trade, globalization, and sustainable development.
  • Participants who work, study, or are interested in public policy and development will find the course particularly relevant.


  • This course uses a non-technical approach to provide essential knowledge to understand how trade and globalization can bring opportunities and challenges toward sustainable development.
  • This course consists of 15 modules: 4 mandatory introductory modules (A.1-A.4), 9 intermediate-level modules (B.1-B.4), and 2 modules on selected topics (C.1-C.2). 
  • Each module has VDO lectures, which take approximately 15-20 minutes to complete. Participants can learn at their own pace.
  • Participants are encouraged to study the reference materials to deepen their knowledge. Please check the list of reading materials in the references and recommended readings section.


  • After completing the quizzes and achieving at least 75% scores, you will receive certificates from the United Nations ESCAP. Certificates will be sent to your registered email within 15 days: 
    • An e-certificate of completing the mandatory introductory-level modules after passing the quiz for Part A
    • An e-certificate of completing the intermediate-level B.1modules (trade, poverty, hunger, and inclusive growth) after passing the quizzes for Part A and Part B.1 
    • An e-certificate of completing the intermediate-levelB.2 modules (trade, climate change, and sustainable growth) after passing the quizzes for Part A and Part B.2
    • An e-certificate of completing the intermediate-level B.3 modules (trade, decent work, innovation, and responsible consumption) after passing the quizzes for Part A and Part B.3
    • An e-certificate of completing the intermediate-level B.4module (trade, institutions, and cooperation) after passing the quizzes for Part A and Part B.4
    • An e-certificate of completing the selected topic C.1module (trade, health, and pandemic) after passing the quizzes for Part A and Part C.1
    • An e-certificate of completing the selected topic C.2 module (global value chains) after passing the quizzes for Part A and Part C.2

REGISTER to this course:

The e-learning course is accessible via ESCAP Community platform. Please click and REGISTER HERE.

Facilitated sessions:

The facilitated sessions of the course are organized from 14 to 28 November 2022 (Online). Please see the EVENT page HERE for registration and event record.



This course is developed by the Trade Policy and Facilitation Section (TPFS) of Trade, Investment and Innovation Division (TIID), the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP).

Contributors, reviewers, and advisors of the course

Course coordinator: Witada Anukoonwattaka, Economic Affairs Officer, TPFS, ESCAP

Course principal: Ian Coxhead, Professor of Agricultural and Applied Economics, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Course assistant: Varan Kitayaporn, PhD Graduate Student, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Course Advisory Board:

The course benefits from inputs and comments from the members of the course advisory board. 

Rupa Chanda, Director, TIID, ESCAP

Yann Duval, Chief TPFS,  TIID, ESCAP

Mia Mikic, Advisor at Large, Asia-Pacific Research and Training Network on Trade (ARTNeT)

Premachandra Athukorala, Professor of Economics,  Australian National University

Prabir De, Professor, and Head, ASEAN-India Centre (AIC), Research and Information System for Developing Countries (RIS), New Delhi

Evelyn S. Devadason, Professor, Department of Economics,  University of Malaya

Matthias C. Helble, Scientist, Evidence to Policy & Impact, Department of Research for Health, World Health Organization

Biswajit Nag, Professor & Head, Economics Division, Indian Institute of Foreign Trade (IIFT)

Jiansuo Pei, Associate Professor of Economics, Renmin University of China

Alberto Posso, Professor of Economics, the International Development & Trade Research Group, Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT)

Wisarn Pupphavesa, Senior Advisor, Thailand Development Research Institute (TDRI)

Chayodom Sabhasri, Associate Professor, Former Dean, Faculty of Economics, Chulalongkorn University

Supachai Srisuchart, Assistant Professor, Dean, Faculty of Economics, Thammasat University

Sasatra Sudsawasd, Associate Professor, National Institute of Development Administration (NIDA),

Andrew Kam Jia Yi, Associate Professor, Senior Fellow, Institute of Malaysian and International Studies,  National University of Malaysia

Pasakorn Thammachote, Lecturer, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Faculty of Economics, Kasetsart University


For more information, please contact: [email protected]

For other e-learning courses on trade policy, negotiation and facilitation, please click here.

Trade, Investment and Innovation Division +66 2 288-1234 [email protected]