About Us

The World Trade Institute (WTI) is a leading interdisciplinary academic institution dedi­cated to teaching and research focused on international trade and investment regula­tion and economic globalisation and sustainability. As a centre of excellence at the University of Bern with an international, interdisciplinary focus, we explore the intercon­nections between the fields of law, economics and political science.

The WTI combines graduate-level education, interdisciplinary research and specialised advisory services in a unique and dynamic institution. We recruit students, researchers, faculty and employees from around the world, creating a diverse culture and stimulating environment.


  • We aim to shape public policy so that international economic governance yields tangible benefits for society.
  • We strive to be the world's leading interdisciplinary academic institution for studies, teaching and research in international trade and investment regulation and economic globalisation and sustainability


  • We are a centre of excellence at the University of Bern
  • We contribute to a better understanding of the legal, economic and political framework governing globalisation and sustainable development
  • We provide cutting-edge research and scholarly outputs on frontier topics
  • We attract top graduate students from around the world and give them the knowledge and skills to become tomorrow's leaders in the field of international economic governance


  • Openness: We share knowledge and conduct interdisciplinary research with peers worldwide
  • Innovation: We generate original ideas and engage in thought leadership
  • Equality: We are committed to inclusiveness and non-discrimination
  • Sustainability: We aim to ensure institutional memory, continuity and knowledge transfer


The institute was founded upon the conclusion of the Uruguay Round of the GATT and the advent of the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 1995. It was estab­lished in 1999 to train future practitioners and researchers from all over the world and to strengthen research capacities in areas that have an increasing impact on people's lives. The financial crisis in 2008 showed the importance of not only a stable and open multilateral trading system under the auspices of the WTO but also organisations and agreements promoting regional integration.