Wilma Viviers is a professor of International Trade, Leader of the TRADE (Trade and Development) research entity and NRF-rated researcher at the North-West University (Potchefstroom Campus). She has an impressive array of publications, and is a leading authority in the fields of export promotion, competitive intelligence (CI) and economic development.
Prof Viviers’ passionate research interest in, and active contribution towards the realisation of, strategies to improve South Africa’s trade performance and competitiveness, are acknowledged both locally and internationally. Notably, the Decision Support Model (DSM) for the identification of South African export opportunities – which she has launched in this country – is being lauded in both government and business circles as a refreshingly efficient approach to export market selection. The DSM and its many applications are extensively covered in the book ‘Export Promotion: A Decision Support Model Approach’ by Prof Ludo Cuyvers of the University of Antwerp and Prof Viviers.
Prof Viviers sits on several national and international committees, and is frequently asked to speak to stakeholder groups about her research initiatives. She has also received numerous awards in recognition of her ground-breaking research over the years.
TRADE’s research activities are heavily geared towards export promotion and development – from identifying new and high-potential export opportunities for South Africa as well as other countries, to uncovering the keys to greater competitiveness and inward investment flows – all areas of great concern to economic policymakers and decision-makers in business. TRADE’s research agenda also covers topical issues such as the export of services, the competitiveness of firms, foreign direct investment, barriers to internationalisation and economic development topics. These areas are consolidated info five research programmes: DSM Technical, DSM Sectors, DSM Geographical, FDI (Foreign Direct Investment) and International competitiveness and development.