A partnership with academia

Building knowledge for trade and development


altBangladesh's Jagannath University (JNU) today became the 73rd university member of the Virtual Institute, joining Vi think tanks, the Bangladesh Enterprise Institute and the Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD), as the third institution to represent the country in UNCTAD's programme for academic cooperation.

We owe JNU's membership to Sharif Mosharraf Hossain, graduate of the Master programme in International and Development Economics (MIDE) of Vi German core member, the University of Applied Sciences Berlin, and former Vi intern and participant of several Vi workshops and online courses. After graduating from MIDE and spending some time at a research institute in his country, Hossain opted for an academic career at JNU and spared no effort to establish cooperation with the Vi.

Dhaka-based Jagannath University, whose history goes back to 1858, was transformed into a university by government decision in 2005. The university aims to become a centre of excellence for educating successful and productive citizens for the country.

The Vi will cooperate with JNU's Department of Economics, which is part of the Faculty of Social Sciences. The main objective of the department is to provide the highest quality education to the students and to conduct academic research on various issues related to economics. At the moment, the department offers graduate and undergraduate programmes in economics, with courses in international, development, monetary, environmental, agricultural and industrial economics, as well as regional integration, economic development, and the Bangladeshi economy. There are also plans to introduce PhD and M.Phil programmes in the near future to strengthen the research base and orientation of the department.

Faculty members of the department publish both in the yearly research journal of the Faculty of Social Sciences, the Jagannath University Journal of Social Science, and in national and international journals. Topics recently covered by their research include investment, export sectors' competitiveness, trade facilitation, regional integration, and poverty.

The cooperation with the Vi will be coordinated by Hossain, currently responsible for courses on international economics and advanced microeconomics. His research interests encompass regional integration in South Asia, economic relations between Bangladesh and Japan, and agricultural trade liberalization. 

Colleagues also joining include: Ishtiaque Selim, teaching development and regional economics and quantitative decision-making techniques and researching economic relations between Bangladesh, the Gulf countries, Japan, China and India, regional integration, and FDI; Tareq Muhammad Shamsul Arefin, involved in courses on monetary economics and banking and financial institutions and publishing on competitiveness and manufacturing sectors in Bangladesh, trade facilitation, and poverty; Tabassum Zaman, teaching development, international and agricultural economics, macroeconomics and public finance, with research interests in macro-economic determinants of investment and on human development; and Habibur Rahman, teaching international and development economics, macroeconomics and econometrics and undertaking research on regional integration and cooperation, the impact of exchange rate on the Bangladesh manufactured exports, the multilateral trading system, globalization, and poverty reduction. 

The department is ready to exchange information and teaching materials on trade and development issues, and to conduct collaborative research projects with Vi members in areas of mutual interest.

They expect the Vi membership to help them in designing courses and developing teaching materials on trade and development related issues, provide opportunities to participate in training workshops, courses and the Vi fellowship programme, and cooperate in research with other members.

For more information, visit the university profile on the Vi website.