Gunter Gaublome is appointed Chairman of the DC Academic Program. He holds the position as Director of the Brussels Diplomatic Academy and is a member of the Advisory Board of the DC Students Organisation, the Diplomatic Council’s global students organization.

The Brussels Diplomatic Academy (BDA) of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel and the Diplomatic Council (DC) have initiated a joint DC Academic Program for the academic promotion of Economic Diplomacy which forms the connection between diplomacy and economy. Both partners are convinced that a prosperous economy constitutes a solid foundation for international understanding and for this reason, economic considerations shall always be an integral part of successful diplomatic efforts.

Focus on Economic Diplomacy and International Entrepreneurship

The DC Academic Program follows the concepts und guidelines of the Brussels Diplomatic Academy (BDA) as described hereafter.

Globalisation. Not a mere buzzword but the undeniable force that drives companies to develop their business beyond national borders. The ever-increasing importance of international business also calls for a stronger role for economic diplomats.

The Academy – with a clear focus on business diplomacy and international entrepreneurship – will prepare students for a career in diplomacy and international business. In addition the Academy offers a comprehensive range of topical seminars and executive courses to diplomats and business people and is your first point of call for consultancy, research and coaching on all aspects of diplomacy and international business.

The Academy acts as a Knowledge Center for Economic Diplomacy and International Entrepreneurship. This focus makes us unique as it distinguishes us from most other diplomatic academies. As explained hereafter economic diplomacy and international entrepreneurship are closely related.

Economic diplomats can at best be described as business facilitators or business initiators. They need to pave the way for their home country’s companies. Their task goes far beyond networking only. More than ever before they need to think along with the strategy of the company or at least they should have a thorough understanding of export, investment, entry modes, transfer pricing, market analysis, financing techniques and so on. This implies a solid knowledge of international entrepreneurship. Furthermore, economic diplomats have to safeguard and defend their country’s economic and trade interests.

For companies going global, on the other hand, it is advisable to have a basic understanding of the various domains economic diplomats are dealing with, like international trade law, international investment law, international tax law, international public procurement and so on. This optimizes business development because of the possibility to fight against non tariff barriers and dumping practices, or to optimally make us of international tenders, bilateral investment agreements and agreements to avoid double taxation.

As Brussels is home to the European institutions, international organisations and many multinationals, the DC Academic Program has through the Brussels Diplomatic Academy access to a broad network of diplomats, civil servants and business men. This feature definitely contributes to the quality of our research, education and consultancy.

The BDA postgraduate certificate programmes have the clear goal to fully prepare students for the labour market. We want to successfully prepare them for a career as diplomat or business man. In order to achieve this goal the BDA postgraduate programmes are built on the following principles:

  • A versatile training: all aspects of economic diplomacy and international entrepreneurship are covered. This maximizes the job chances and professional success of our graduates.
  • The combination of academic courses and input from specialized practitioners.
  • A programme curriculum that departs from the necessary theoretical matter and the necessary skills that makes a diplomat and business man successful.

The DC Academy Program partner Brussels Diplomatic Academy has been set up with the following aims

  • By means of the Postgraduate certificate programme in Economic Diplomacy we want to train students in all aspects of economic diplomacy. This multidisciplinary programme that combines theory with practical input is a terrific preparation for the economic diplomatic career exam.
  • By means of the Postgraduate certificate programme in International Trade and Investment we want to prepare students for the various aspects of international trade and investment. The postgraduate aims at producing graduates who are ready for professional life. As such they should easily find and be successful in jobs such as export manager, purchasing or sourcing manager, investment manager or business development manager.
  • Prepare economic diplomats for their secondment.
  • Training of economic diplomats.
  • Training of business men.
  • Topical seminars on economic diplomacy and international entrepreneurship.
  • Research and consultancy on the various aspects that constitute economic diplomacy and international entrepreneurship.

Students who join the Program are granted access to the global contact network of the Diplomatic Council through this joint program. This will enable them to enhance their academic competency benefiting from the DC’s diplomatic and business relations while at the same time, they can establish valuable contacts for their professional careers. “Today’s students will be the liberal-minded but also critical thinkers of our think thank tomorrow”, says Secretary General Hang Nguyen.

In order to promote the brightest minds, BDA and DC have launched a „DC Students Award“ which is awarded to those students with the best diploma thesis. The nomination and selection of the winners is executed by an independent jury of the Brussels Diplomatic Academy. The winners are granted a lifelong membership as a DC Fellow of the Diplomatic Council.

Members of the Diplomatic Council not only profit from the intellectual enrichments of the students but they also receive access to the comprehensive offer of the Brussels Diplomatic Academy which includes lectures, conferences and workshops. Various DC members have already attended mentioned courses, as for example a seminar explaining relevant legal issues when it comes to doing business in China.

Once a year, the Brussels Diplomatic Academy together with the Diplomatic Council and the Diplomatic World Magazine will jointly organize a „Diplomatic Economy Summit“ in Brussels.