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    In Peru, Trade Forum enters the Classroom.


    © International Trade Centre, International Trade Forum - Issue 4/2005

    Photo: F. Duarte

    Peru's young business hopefuls are getting a taste of the international market while still at university through the case studies and ideas in ITC's magazine.

    I have been teaching a course in international trade since 2000 at the Catholic Pontifical University of Peru. In March 2000 I discovered the magazine, Trade Forum, in a library in Lima. When I read it for the first time, I was impressed by the diversity of trade topics, wide coverage of countries involved and clear depiction of world trade trends. I am passionate about international trade because it strengthens human creativity. It allows us to live together in a more interconnected way in a globalized world. In my course we use different articles from the magazine as discussion themes. The information provided by the magazine allows students to feel more connected to international trade because even from Peru we can learn of progress, problems and decisions made at government, organizational and company levels in a global environment.

    Exam questions and strong ideas

    The magazine is a source for questions in mid-term and final examinations. I usually choose a paragraph from a recent article and include it in the examination. In this way, the magazine serves as a useful source to keep us updated in our reading related to specific themes, for example, trade promotion organizations. I also use the magazine to develop my class materials. I use strong ideas based on cases or "testimonials" from other cultures (Africa, Asia, Oceania, etc.) or controversial themes to make the course more interesting and encourage students to read the magazine. Among the articles that have made a profound impact have been "Nepalese Businesswoman Assists New Exporters", an interview with Mrs Sulo Shrestha-Shah (issue 4/2003), and "Kenyan Leather Retailer Creates E-shop Front" based on an ITCsupported activity for a business run by Mrs Nalina Rupani (issue 3/2003).

    Shaping citizens

    Through the magazine I have been able to learn and continue learning about the theory and practice of international trade as a direct and indirect participant in the activity, and above all, in my role as a lecturer with the University's Departamento Académico de Ciencias de Administrativas (Academic department of administrative sciences). Nothing is as constructive as shaping new citizens who will determine our nations' destinies. Recently, we have welcomed exchange students in the course. In the last semester, we had an Argentinian student from a university in Santa Fe and a French student from the International School of Commerce and Development of Lyons. This semester we have a Mexican student from the Manzanillo campus of the University of Colima. In today's modern world, we understand that information should be open, available, usable, comprehensible and free-flowing. Whenever I give a presentation outside the University I hand out the magazine, because this is an opportunity to introduce it and profit from its contents. Finally, in my opinion, the magazine is a powerful tool to support international trade for the participating actors, professors giving courses related to the subject and potential newcomers to this dynamic activity that sustains the growth of economies.

    Franklin Duarte (fduarte@pucp.edu.pe) is a Lecturer in International Business at the Catholic Pontifi cal University of Peru.

    Editor's note: We were happy to receive this contribution, prompted by a visit to our offi ce to meet magazine staff.