Commercial Diplomacy and Globalization

Commercial Diplomacy and Globalization

Marina Kaljurand

Estonian diplomat. Estonian Foreign Minister in 2015-16. Ambassador of Estonia to the United States of America, Canada, Mexico, the State of Israel, the Russian Federation and Kazakhstan.

Сourse Description & Goals:

The course will start with introduction to Commercial Diplomacy (CD) as a method of diplomacy that is of growing importance to Governments in the process of globalization.  CD involves different state representatives with diplomatic status and ranges from multilateral cooperation in international organisations to bilateral economic relations and promoting national economic interests. The course will focus on all important trade organisations and trade promotion activities from the perspective of a state as well as private companies. MFAs play a central role in CD and the course will look at different options of promoting national business interests by commercial diplomats and other institutions e.g. chambers of commerce, trade promoting enterprises, honorary consuls. All topics will be discussed in practical terms and illustrated with real life examples including the ones from my 25-years long career in foreign service. Special attention will be paid to economic relations with the EU (implementation of the DCFTA) and economic relations as a political tool (sanctions). Important part of the course will be dedicated to the use of ICTs as promotors of development. According to World Development Report 2016: Digital Dividends Full benefits of the ICT will not be realized unless countries continue to improve their business climate, invest in people´s education and health and promote good governance. Digital Agenda 2020 for Estonia will be analysed and compared to relevant Ukrainian policies/strategies. The aim of the course is to provide general theoretical understanding of CD, including different stakeholders and different methods and to give very practical examples and advises how to use CD and how to benefit from efficient CD.


Theoretical introduction with power point presentations followed by interactive case studies and discussions.

Course Structure:

4 days, 4 academic hours per day

 Course Language:  


Lecture 1. Definition and role of CD in Globalization. Economy as an instrument in foreign policy: restrictive measures
Lecture 2.Role of MFAs and Embassies in CD
Lecture 3. EU trade policy. EU-Ukraine DCFTA.
Lecture 4. Use of ICTs: benefits, risks, international cooperation. Digital economy.

Short Q&A session

Marina Kaljurand about her CAPS course "Commercial Diplomacy and Globalization"

What is commercial diplomacy, in general?

  • Commercial diplomacy is an activity conducted with the aim of promoting national trade and business interests

What real life examples will be reviewed?

  • The case of Nord Stream – from the perspective of the Commission, Member States, Russia Ukraine; DCFTA – is not only about trade, but also about democratic reforms and closer cooperation with the EU and, for sure, a lot of my own examples I get involved while being the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Ambassador.

But commercial diplomacy is not about agreements and benefits only, it also about sanctions

  • Sure, we will analyse economic sanction to Russia introduced by the EU: do they have real results.

Cases, simulations?

  • Of course; but also discussions and other activities. The good lecturer benefits from participants as well as participants benefits from lecturer.   

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