Foreign trade means business between countries. It is the import and export of goods and services between nations. In this age of globalization, foreign trade/International business has great significance in the economic development of a country.
The companies which have expanded their operations globally through acquisitions and mergers need foreign trade experts to run their business.
The job of a foreign trade expert:
The job of a foreign trade expert is not limited to a specific segment but it is a combination of 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 etc. They need to stay updated on the latest market dynamics, policies and practices.
A degree in international business or supply chain management is must for the aspirant. There are other short and long-term courses also offered by many institutes for those who already got a degree in another stream but looking for a career in international trade.
Generally, for undergraduate courses, the eligibility is 10+2 with 50% marks and for Masters in International Business and foreign trade, the aspirant must be at least a graduate preferably in commerce.
The skills needed to become a foreign trade expert:
- Knowledgeable about the global trade environment and factors affecting it
- Rules and regulations and a host of practical issues related to international trade
- Knowledge of import and export laws
- Strong problem solving skills
- Excellent communication skills
- Knowledge of foreign language will have an advantage
How to be there?
There are degrees (UG/PG) in international business and supply chain management offered by top management institutes. The aspirant candidate should choose one of them and get the degree from and reputed institute.
Most careers in international business require a master's degree at least, and employers increasingly prefer candidates with a doctoral degree and a specialization in international business or foreign trade.
There are no fixed timings because a foreign trade expert might have to work according to various time zones. But it is a typically fixed time job 9 hours a day.
The beginners can get the starting salary of Rs.2 to 4 lacs per annum. Salary can be increased on the basis of qualification, working area, and experience. With a good experience in this field, you can earn a salary between Rs.10 to 15 lacs per year. Private companies and MNCs generally pay higher salaries.
Today, many businesses are looking to enter international markets, so careers in international business are expected to grow at a faster rate. Banks, manufacturing firms, government agencies, and almost all industries need people with a background in international business. Job opportunities are available in various industries such as shipping lines, freight forwarders, international courier companies, export houses, banks and agencies dealing with currency trading etc. The expert can seek jobs in travel, tourism and hospitality sector also.