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Foreign Trade

Code: 102324 ECTS Credits: 6
Degree Type Year Semester
2501572 Business Administration and Management OT 4 0
The proposed teaching and assessment methodology that appear in the guide may be subject to changes as a result of the restrictions to face-to-face class attendance imposed by the health authorities.


Rosella Nicolini

Use of Languages

Principal working language:
english (eng)
Some groups entirely in English:
Some groups entirely in Catalan:
Some groups entirely in Spanish:


Rosella Nicolini


No specific background is required to course this programme. Of course, students are expected to have a basic knowledge of the core courses in economics as principle of international economics, principle of macroeconomics and principles of microeconomics. Some basic notions in marketing could be also a useful plus.

Objectives and Contextualisation

This is an elective course. It aims at providing a general overview of the most common international practices in trade. The focus will be on the practical managing of the import-export operations at firm level under a competitive perspective. The course is introducing students to the knowledge and managing of the most salient tools to meet the requests of firms involved in the international transaction processes. Students will learn basic information about the importance of the international trade for the competitive consolidation process in Catalunya and Spain. They also will be able to deal with the most proper instruments to solve simple practical exercises simulating real case studies. Finally, they will be also able to search for the most relevant information to plan feasible internationalization strategies still at firm level.



  • Capacity for adapting to changing environments.
  • Capacity for independent learning in the future, gaining more profound knowledge of previous areas or learning new topics.
  • Capacity for oral and written communication in Catalan, Spanish and English, which enables synthesis and oral and written presentation of the work carried out.
  • Demonstrate initiative and work individually when the situation requires it.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the structure of institutions and the state, their evolution and the consequences of possible changes, to be able to make a positive contribution to the debate about the role they play in current society.
  • Identify the economic agents that make up an economy, understanding how they have been interrelated to date, how they are currently interrelated and forecast futures according to new circumstances and their influence on a specific company.
  • Know how to handle the analytical framework and empirical knowledge that is offered by the economy on international relations and the most important economic areas.
  • Organise the work in terms of good time management, organisation and planning.
  • Select and generate the information necessary for each problem, analyse it and take decisions based on that information.
  • Show motivation for carrying out quality work and sensitivity to the consequences for the environment and society.
  • Value ethical commitment in professional practice.
  • Work well in a team, being able to argue proposals and validate or reject the arguments of others in a reasoned manner.

Learning Outcomes

  1. A capacity of oral and written communication in Catalan, Spanish and English, which allows them to summarise and present the work conducted both orally and in writing.
  2. Analyse the role of international institutions in the economy.
  3. Assess ethical commitment in professional activity.
  4. Assess the functioning and current situation of the Spanish economy.
  5. Capacity to adapt to changing environments.
  6. Capacity to continue future learning independently, acquiring further knowledge and exploring new areas of knowledge.
  7. Demonstrate initiative and work independently when required.
  8. Demonstrate motivation regarding the quality of the work performed and sensitivity regarding the consequences on the environment and society.
  9. Describe the main economic agents making up the Spanish and Catalan economy.
  10. Examine the influence and the role of Spanish public institutions in the economy.
  11. Identify the role of the public sector in the Spanish economy.
  12. Interpret the economic globalisation process and its consequences for the Spanish economy.
  13. List the main characteristics of the labour market in Spain.
  14. Organise work, in terms of good time management and organisation and planning.
  15. Perform an economic analysis of integration processes, in general, and of the European integration process, in particular.
  16. Select and generate the information needed for each problem, analyse it and make decisions based on this information.
  17. Work as part of a team and be able to argue own proposals and validate or refuse the arguments of others in a reasonable manner.


  1. Definition of trade. Theoretical setting. Benefits from trade. Trade policies. Evaluation of the trade agreements.
  2. Introduction to the international organization dealing with trade issues (IMF, WB, WTO, UNCTAD) and the experience of the European Union (from the Treaty of Rome onward),
  3. Basic definitions of the practical concepts of external trade. Trade accounting. Trade balance. Exchange rate limitations.
  4. Trade practices in the EU: TARIC codes, international transport practices, fiscal issues. Imports: tariff, custom value of imports, TVA in the international trade. Exports: export procedures and fiscal policies fostering exports.
  5. Basic description of the INCOTERMS (2010). The international payment system.
  6. The Spanish and Catalan current trade-flow directions and composition. Elements for a quantitative analysis. National and local public policies endorsing the firm internationalization process



Teaching will be offered on campus or in an on-campus and remote hybrid format depending on the number of students per group and the size of the rooms at 50% capacity


• Practical classes

• Tutoring and monitoring practices and readings

• Study and reading material

• Collection and processing of information by practical exercises

The proposed teaching methodology may undergo some modifications according to the restrictions imposed by the health authorities on on-campus courses


Title Hours ECTS Learning Outcomes
Type: Directed      
Lectures 30 1.2 2, 15, 4, 9, 13, 10, 11, 12
Practical classes 15 0.6 5, 1, 6, 7, 8, 14, 16, 17, 3
Type: Supervised      
Tutoring and monitoring practices and readings 20.5 0.82 5, 1, 6, 7, 8, 14, 16, 17, 3
Type: Autonomous      
Collection and processing of information by practical exercises 20 0.8 7, 14, 16, 17
Study and reading material 60 2.4 2, 15, 4, 9, 13, 10, 12


 The assessment of the learning (final mark) will be the weighted average of the following activities:

  • 20% Miderm exam
  • 45 % Final exam
  • 20 %  Individual project,
  • 15%   Group project (including presentation).


All students are required to perform the evaluation activities.

The two exams (midterm and final) require a minimum score of 3.5 each. When this threshold is not reached (that is, when the mark is below 3.5) the score of the correspondent exam that will be considered for  the final mark will be zero. The marks of the other activities to complete the final evaluation  do not require a minimum threshold.

The subject is approved with a final mark of 5. In the case of a final mark less than  3.5, the student will have to  take to the subject in the following year.

Students who have obtained a final mark that is equal to or greater than 3.5 and less than 5 are eligible for a retake exam. The lecturers will decide the type of the second chance retake exam. When the mark of the retake exam  is greater than 5, the final mark will be PASS with a maximum numerical score of 5. When  the mark of the retake exam is less than 5, the final mark will be a FAIL with a numerical score equal to the mark previously achieved  (not the mark of the retake exam).

A student who does not perform any evaluative task is considered “not evaluable”, therefore, a student who performs a continuous assessment component can no longer be qualified with a "not evaluable


Calendar of evaluation activities

The dates of the evaluation activities (midterm exams, exercises in the classroom, assignments, ...) will be announced well in advance during the semester.

The date of the final exam is scheduled in the assessment calendar of the Faculty.

"The dates of evaluation activities cannot be modified, unless there is an exceptional and duly justified reasonwhy an evaluation activity cannot be carried out. In this case, the degree coordinator will contact both the teaching staff and the affected student, and a new date will be scheduled within the same academic period to make up for the missed evaluation activity." Section 1 of Article 115. Calendar of evaluation activities (Academic Regulations UAB). Students of the Faculty of Economics and Business, who in accordance with the previous paragraph need to change an evaluation activity date must process the request by filling out an Application for exams' reschedule https://eformularis.uab.cat/group/deganat_feie/application-for-exams-reschedule


Grade revision process

After all grading activities have ended, students will be informed of the date and way in which the course grades will be published. Students will be also be informed of the procedure, place, date and time of grade revision following University regulations.


Retake Process

"To be eligible to participate in the retake process, it is required for students to have been previously been evaluated for at least two thirds of the total evaluation activities of the subject." Section 3 of Article 112 ter. The recovery (UAB Academic Regulations). Additionally, it is required that the student to have achieved an average grade of the subject between 3.5 and 4.9.

The date of the retake exam will be posted in the calendar of evaluation activities of the Faculty. Students who take this exam and pass, will get a grade of 5 for thesubject. If the student does not pass the retake, the grade will remain unchanged, and hence, student will fail the course.


Irregularities in evaluation activities

In spite of other disciplinary measures deemed appropriate, and in accordance with current academic regulations, "in the case that thestudent makes any irregularity that could lead to a significant variation in the grade of an evaluation activity, it will be graded with a 0, regardless of the disciplinary process that can be instructed. In case of various irregularities occur in the evaluation of the same subject, the final grade of this subject will be 0". Section 10 of Article 116. Results of the evaluation. (UAB Academic Regulations).


The proposed evaluation activities may undergo some changes according to the restrictions imposed by the health authorities on on-campus courses


Assessment Activities

Title Weighting Hours ECTS Learning Outcomes
Final exam 45% de la nota final 2 0.08 2, 15, 4, 5, 1, 6, 7, 9, 13, 10, 11, 12, 14, 16, 3
Group project 15% 1 0.04 1, 7, 14, 16, 17
Individual project 20% 0 0 2, 15, 4, 5, 1, 6, 7, 9, 13, 10, 11, 12, 8, 14, 16
Mid term exam 20% 1.5 0.06 2, 4, 9, 13, 10, 11, 12


Basic textbooks

 K.B. Chikwava (2012): Sustaining contractual business: An Exploration of the New Revised International Commercial Terms. Incoterms2010, Xlibris

R. Nicolini (2019): Tools in applied economics (https://ddd.uab.cat/record/203608)

 B. Seyoum (2009): Export-Import Theory, Practices, and Procedures, Routledge (2nd Edition) - available online -

INCOTERMS 2020: https://iccwbo.org/resources-for-business/incoterms-rules/incoterms-2020/


 Additional textbooks:

 Th. Pugel (2012): “International Economics”, Mc Graw Hill.

 D. Salvatore (2011): “ International Economics. Trade and Finance”, 10ª Ed., Wiley.

 Other documents

 -              Papers on external trade: ICEX (http://www.icex.es).

-              Papers on external trade: Cambra de Comerç de Barcelona

-              (http://www.cambrabcn.org/web/cambra/inicio).

-              Acc1ó-CIDEM-COPCA (http://www.acc10.cat/ACC1O/cat/internacionalitzacio/).

-              TARIC data (www.taric.es) and other statistical sources (OCDE, Banco Mundial, Eurostat…).

-              “Doing business” (http://www.doingbusiness.org/).

-              “Doing business in Catalonia” (http://www.acc10.cat/catalonia/en/doingbusiness/index.jsp).