International Business/Foreign Trade
Tuesday, April 23, 2024
Education & Career
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International Business/Foreign Trade : Job Prospects & Career Options

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The growth of foreign business and its importance to the national economy has increased the need for individuals prepared to handle the complex problems of international business, thus making international trade a lucrative profession. The job of a foreign trade expert is not limited to any specific segment such as marketing, documentation, shipping and packaging, or functions-related to export management, pricing, sourcing, costing, export market research, distribution, freight marketing, export finance, documentation and foreign exchange. It is a combination of all of the above and much more. 

These professionals can get employment in both private and public sector. From banks, to manufacturing firms to government agencies, almost all industries having subsidiaries in other countries need people with a background in international business. Opportunities in merchandising companies, export units and the international business divisions of various MNCs are open to candidates of foreign trade. The responsibilities assigned to a professional in this area include documentation related to export/import and liaison with the tax and custom authorities. Their work also involves liasoning between exporters and port authority. Export managers and executives can find opportunities with insurance companies particularly marine insurance corporations where they are required to assess the loss or physical damage to the goods shipped in a country.

In the marketing field, there is enormous scope for export and import professionals. They are employed by the export houses for boosting overseas sales, searching new business hubs and potential markets abroad. Marketing executives also suggest strategies based on marketing research and predict demand and potential buyers abroad. They are also engaged in Customer Relationship Management (CRM). Trained professionals can also venture to open their own export houses after gaining adequate work experience.

Consultancy is one of the most sought after career for foreign trade experts. After gaining specialisation in international business from a reputed institute one can start a consultancy firm. An international business consultant is responsible for providing relevant information about foreign business investments, opportunities, competitive companies and even information about business practices and legal implications of owning a business in another country to their clients. 

Candidates with qualification in international business along with a law degree, can find opportunities in the legal field to solve legal disputes among clients in different countries, particularly in legal affairs of international trade disputes ranging from patents, multilateral and bilateral trade agreements etc. Public sector offers jobs in the State trading Corporation (STC), Minerals and Metals Trading Corporation (MMTC) etc. One can also find positions in World Trade Organisation (WTO), United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Bank, Regional Trade Blocks and trade associations etc.

Enormous opportunities are available in teaching and research with management institutions offering courses in international business. Media reporting related to import export, and reporting of specific commodity in print and electronic media, can also be a good opportunity to young people having a flair for international business. Since most of the international trade is done through port and aviation, these professionals can work in airlines, cargo and global shipping companies. Moreover, they could join travel and tourism industry and foreign direct investment and economic development agencies. 

Financial institutions, EXIM bank and various private and public banks with foreign exchange dealings as well as foreign banks appoint those specialised in international finance. International accounting is also an area where experts in accounting operations may be posted in multinational corporations and firms engaged in international business operations. 

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