The Indian Institute of Foreign Trade (IIFT) joined the Virtual Institute today, becoming the second university to represent the country in UNCTAD's academic network.
The link between IIFT and the Vi was established very recently through Rashmi Banga, of UNCTAD's Division on Globalization and Development Strategies, Vi’s home division. The application followed swiftly and IIFT became a Vi member in less than one month.
IIFT was established in 1963 by the Government of India to help professionalize the country's foreign trade management and increase exports by developing human resources, generating, analyzing and disseminating data, and conducting research. Today it is one of the country's most prestigious business schools, and aims to become an internationally acknowledged and networked institution delivering globally competitive business education and research for individuals, government, the business sector and society at large.
The Institute's portfolio of teaching programmes includes an MBA (international business), as well as executive post-graduate diplomas in international marketing, industrial marketing, and capital and financial markets. To cater to the needs of international business professionals, several of these programmes are also offered for online study. IIFT also runs a PhD programme in international business.
Research occupies a critical place at IITF, as the organization provides policy inputs on foreign trade to the government, and consultancy services to international organizations and other institutions. For this purpose, it has set up the Centre for WTO Studies, the Centre for Small and Medium Enterprises Studies, and the Centre for International Trade in Technology. Recent research outputs relate to trade in services (accountancy and education), bilateral and regional trade and trade agreements (e.g. with Iran, Israel, Korea, Singapore, ASEAN), export potential of selected products, and investment flows.
IIFT has an active policy of international networking and collaboration and has concluded academic collaboration agreements with some existing Vi members - in Bangladesh, Viet Nam, Germany and China.
The cooperation with the Vi will be coordinated by Rakesh Mohan Joshi
, Chairman of the Institute's International Cooperation & Research. He is responsible for courses on international business, international marketing and marketing research, and international brand management. His research interests cover globalization and its implications, global business strategy, and strategy for emerging markets, among others. He will receive support from Biswajit Nag
, PhD in Economics and an Associate Professor at IIFT. Biswajit teaches courses on trade analysis, international economics and business economics, and his recent publications focus on free trade agreements (India-ASEAN, India-Sri Lanka), and international and regional production networks.
IIFT expects the cooperation with the Vi to be useful for designing short-term courses and programmes on trade and development issues. It is ready to contribute to the Vi by exchanging ideas on research work, training programmes, and faculty exchange. Its management development and certificate programmes - similar to the MBA (IB) currently delivered in collaboration with the Institute of Finance Management, Tanzania - could also be introduced in other Vi member countries