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Training and Research



"Partners in Foreign Trade Affairs" in the frame of their activities to the management and formation of people interested in identifying their potential partners in the countries of Latin America, presents the following courses:



International Trade Lawl

International Financing


Commerce and Investments within the MERCOSUR

Commerce and Investments within the ANDEAN PACT

Commerce and Investments within the MCCA

Commerce and Investments within the CARICOM


Spanish/Portuguese for Economists

Spanish/Portuguese for Jurists


Creator of CompaniesCréation d'entreprises




The courses are directed to students, consultants, institutional representatives interested in the Latin American market.


Development of the courses:

They can be chosen freely without specific requirements. It is recommended to follow at least one course of each category to get enough skills on each instrument to be able to make commercial and financial operations with potential partners in Latin America.

The courses are dictated in French or Spanish and are developed in 10 sessions, in Geneva (6.00 pm – 8.30 pm). The schedule is decided jointly with the participants. PFTA reserves the right of cancelling the courses in which a sufficient number of participants does not exist.

Consultant's office post-formation:

The participants who have followed 1 general course , 1 specialization course, 1 course of linguistic support and the practical course of creator of companies, can count on a consisting free of charge advising support of network PFTA for the accomplishment and execution of their project. The advising lasts four months after the end of the courses.



The international trade law rests mainly in the practical experience, reason for which the course tries to provide a panoramic vision from three points of view:

Political: The UNO changed the bilateral negotiations into multilateral ones. The Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) constitutes the first multilateral forum. From 1948, the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) established norms of conduct by means of rounds of negotiations (Kennedy, Tokyo, Uruguay among others). In 1964, the denominated « Group of the 77 », constituted by the Third World Countries, determined the creation of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD). The forums were multiplied and at the moment the World Trade Organization (WTO) regulates the international trade.

Economic: The norms of international trade are certain to regulating the balance of payments, that is to say, to obtain better income by exports, investments, credits and less debits possible by imports, payments, dividends, etc. The balance of payments, monetary registry of the accounts of income and debit that a country has in its relations with the foreigner, considers three headings: a) the exports and imports of goods and services, b) the payments of transfer in where the donations are included, the economic aid, etc.; c) capital and monetary gold, considered as direct and indirect investments.

Legal: The " Jus gentium " of the Roman Law and the " Lex Mercatoria " of the Middle Age, regulated the letter of change, promissory notes and checks being based on the custom. In the present century, Unidroit, Italian institution , created in 1946, processes the projects of conventions on the international sale, personal property. In 1966, the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL). The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) of Paris has contributed to the creation of the INCOTERMS of 1953, definition of the terms of the international trade; the uniform uses and customs on the credits documents of 1974; the rules of conciliation and arbitration.



The course develops from the financial and legal point of view, the different modalities of cooperation and financing of the exporting capital countries. The financial sources can be public or private, bilateral or multilateral, etc., depending on the classification that is chosen. The destiny can be projects of investment, re-financing or support to the balance of payments.

The multilateral financing granted by the International Monetary Fund (the IMF), World Bank (BM), Inter-American Development Bank (I.A.D.B.) responds to the objectives in its constituent agreements and to the priorities of its programs. The bilateral financing, granted in the frame in mixed or commercial agreements, obeys to the specific processing that the governments have established in their programs of cooperation. The banking financing, in individual or syndicated form, is the result of the negotiations for precise projects of foreign trade, transfer of technology , among others.

The financial transactions are regulated by international conventions (constitutive Agreements, MIGA, Club of Paris, Club of London), bilateral treaties (Promotion and incentives to the investments, reimbursement, legislation and jurisdiction). The national legislation (laws of budget and financing, dispositions of the Central bank) grant to public and private institutions the general instructions to realize commercial and financial operations with foreign partners.


The Latin-American common market, better known as « Mercosur » is an intergovernmental sub-regional agreement of integration within the Latin-American Association of Integartion. It has been created by the Treaty of Asuncion, signed on March 6th, 1991, by Argentinia, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay. This treaty implements mechanisms and instruments in order to create a common market, establishes the institutional structure and defines relations with the other members of the Latin-American Association. For the time being, Chile and Bolivia are considered as associated members.

Mercosur represents the 4th economic area in the world and its perspectives of growth are encouraged by its strategy of commercial opening. Mercosur represents a population of 200.47 millions people. It’s surface of 12 millions square meters, is bigger than China. Except Bolivia and Paraguay, all the countries have a purchasing power bigger than the regional average. According to the World Bank, the average GNP per capita in Latin-America was around 3'300 US$ in 1995, the avarage within the Mercosur was around 4'300 US$.

Within the Mercosur zone, the movement of goods are free since January 1995. The exchanges increased, from 5'000 millions US$ in 1990 to 17'000 millions US$ in 1996. Taking into account the agroindustry, all the countries hava a very important agricultural basis : Brazil (tropical products, chicken meat, fruits, soya), Argentina (meat, cereals, oilseeds). Paraguay (soya), Uruguay (meat, rice, wool). The leading productions are located in Brazil and Argentina.


Common market created in 1969, including Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Venezuela, with a population of 100.3 millions people.



The Central-American common market includes Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Salvador and has been created in 1961. It includes a total population of 29.7 millions people.


This area includes Antigua & Barbuda, the Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominique, Granada, Guyana, Jamaica, Montserrat, St-Kitts and Nevis, San Vicente and the Granadines. This zone has been created in 1972 and represents a population of 6.3 millions people.


The theoretical part of the course will study the economic and financial aspects, usually used within commercial transactions. It includes the study of the economic sectors (real, monetary, fiscal and foreign trade), macroeconomic variables (GNP, consumption, investment), microeconomic aspects (fixed costs, variable costs, scale output, profit), formulation and evaluation of projects (intern return tax, cost of opportunity), financial concepts (cost evaluation, credit development, refunding scheme, interest rate).

The practical part will study projects of investment, financial clauses included within purchasing contracts, proposition of debt renegotiation, the analysis of the different kinds of financing and the international market of capital within the globalization process.


The theoretical part of the course will the different branches of law: constitutional law (state, nation, government), civil law (persons, reals, family, obligations, succession), penal law (preliminary investigation, judgement, sentence), financial law (financial transactions), international law (resolution of conflicts, arbitration).

The practical part will study import/export contracts, debt refinancing, financing and co-financing, guarantees funds, transfer of technology. Finally, this course will study the basic laws of Latin-American countries (constitutions, bilateral agreements and other laws used within commercial and financial transactions)



The basis of this course will be the analysis of a project proposed by the participant. All economic sectors are permitted and the project can study the following subjects : import/export, transfer of technology, real estate, etc. The country must be chosen before the beginning of the course. All documentation available can be used. Teh project should cover the following aspects : institutional, juridical, economic, particular to each country.

PFTA gives individual advises in the following areas (accounting, finance, law), in order to allow the participant to : a) elaborate a business plan, b) analyse the qualitative and quantitative information regarding the economic sector chosen, c) outline one of the types of companies existing in the chosen country, d) know the usual negotiation tools of the chosen area. The participants can use the PFTA network to help them contact our correspondents in Latin-America and begin the negotiation.


12-14, Rue du Cendrier
CH 1201 Geneva – Switzerland
P.O. Box 1229
CH 1211 Geneva 1 – Switzerland
Tel+(4122) 3203556
Tel +(4179) 4199136
Fax +(4122) 3292905



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