A partnership with academia

Building knowledge for trade and development



Istanbul Commerce UniversityThe Istanbul Commerce University (ICU), the first university member from Turkey, became the Vi's 62nd core member today.

Founded by the Istanbul Chamber of Commerce in 2001, the university aims to provide solid professional qualifications to its graduates with an approach that combines theory and practice, and integrates up-to-date scientific and technological developments. Students also get exposed to the international environment through numerous ICU exchange programmes, and have the opportunity to establish connections with the business world.

Several faculties and schools, as well as research centres within the university, work on trade and development-related topics. The Faculty of Management (encompassing Departments of International Trade; Economics; Banking and Finance; and Management), and the Faculty of Human and Societal Sciences (with its Department of International Relations) deliver undergraduate programmes in their areas of specialization.

Graduate and PhD programmes related to trade and development are offered by various ICU institutes. The Institute of International Trade provides Turkish and English-language MAs in international trade, Turkish and English-language MAs in commercial diplomacy, an MA in Global Marketing and Brand Management, and an MA in International Trade and the EU Law, as well as PhD programmes in International Trade, and in Internatıonal Trade and the EU Law. Relevant courses are also taught by the Institute of Finance and the Institute of Social Sciences. 

Research is undertaken through several ICU research centres, namely the EU Research Center; Neighbouring Countries Relations' Research Center; International Center for Cultural Industries, Creative Economy and Creative Cities; Leadership and Entrepreneurship Research Center; Economic Research Center; and the International Trade Research Center, set up in cooperation with the Turkish Eximbank and the Turkish Exporters Assembly. Among the topics researched are bilateral and regional trade of Turkey; corporate social responsibility; globalization; macroeconomic and international economic policies; industrial policy; tourism services; effects of commodity/oil price shocks; economic integration; the relationship between FDI, export and economic growth; effects of exchanges rates on exports and imports of emerging countries; and effects of the global economic crisis on gender.

The cooperation of ICU with the Vi will be coordinated by its Vice-Rector and Director of the Institute of International Trade, Saduman Okumus. Holder of a PhD, she teaches a course on the international financial system and her recent research has focused on the Turkish financial system, Islamic banking, and the use of microfinance for poverty alleviation.

She will receive support from Ahmet Oguz Demir, Director of the EU Research Center at the university. He holds a PhD in economics, and is responsible for courses on globalization, international economics, and economic integration. His research interests include development and international economics (outward FDI from emerging countries, Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, regional innovation master plan), and composite indicators (such as those related to knowledge society, FDI attractiveness, or socioeconomic development).

ICU is ready to take an active part in joint research projects (their advantage in the area of empirical research is the access to the more than 355,000 members of the founding Istanbul Chamber of Commerce), as well as contribute to joint efforts to develope new academic programmes or materials. They can also provide scholarships for visiting researchers, host international events, and are ready to participate in joint applications for international or national funding for research projects.

They hope that Vi membership will contribute to the internationalization efforts of the university, and create opportunities for international research cooperation and joint research projects with other members of the Vi network.

For more information, take a look at ICU's profile on the Vi website.