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Sample Personal Statement for Commercial Diplomacy

What is the meaning of life? This is a question that I had long been obsessed with before I got the answer from my aunt, who, after finishing her study in Japan, has come back to China and devoted herself to the career of helping her country to catch up with the developed countries. I realized that the meaning of life lied in dedicating oneself to the progress of society. As a student majoring in international trade and economics, I decided to devote all my life to the career of commercial diplomacy when, two years ago, Prof. Liu Mingwei introduced us to this concept in a course she delivered.

As a student of good study habits, I have always been among the top ones in a group, however competitive it might be. I make study plans so that I can use my time scientifically and efficiently. After a plan is fixed, I will stick to it. An example of this is that I never stopped morning reading after I began to do it a few years ago. I am also able to grasp the most important points of a lecture or a book. Therefore, I study more efficiently than other students. After my entrance into college, these good study habits helped me to absorb knowledge of international trade and economy as much as I could. Among the specialized courses, the one that caught my interest most was the System of International Trade, which was about the WTO system and its agreements, globalization and many hot issues of international trade disputes. Having obtained her Master's degree in Commercial Diplomacy herself from Monterey Institute of International Studies of the US, Ms. Cheng, the teacher of this course, adopted the American teaching method, putting a lot of emphasis on case studies, mock negotiations, group study and presentation. Attracted by courses like this, I was completed immersed in my study and came to the realization that, without more trained professionals in trade related fields, including commercial diplomacy, China cannot take advantage of the economic opportunities provided by trade liberalization. It was this teacher who initiated me into the wonderful world of commercial diplomacy. Besides this, almost all of our specialized courses were taught in English and used English textbooks. And we keep in close contact with students of business in Hong Kong University and Columbia University. Once I even spent two weeks living and studying with a Japanese student. All these experiences enhanced my ability of communicating with people from other cultures.

Because of my outstanding performance in study and excellence in English, I was selected by the above-mentioned Prof. Liu to be her research assistant. Prof. Cheng studied in Monterey Institute of International Studies and Stanford University sponsored by Fulbright foundation. His advisor was Professor Geza Feketekuty, one of the founders of Commercial Diplomacy, a new academic subject. Commercial diplomacy was established in 1996 as a pioneering program designed to link traditional policy studies and international business skills in the rapidly evolving field of international trade and commerce. When Prof. Chen returned from the United States, she went on with her research in China, which was a part of Dr. Feketekuty's International Commercial Diplomacy Program. She hoped I could help him develop this program in China. Now we have our own website - www.commercialdiplomacy.com.cn, and have collected and translated a large number of foreign materials into Chinese. Now, our research platform is taking shape. Today the development of Commercial diplomacy is only at its infant stage in China. We have a lot of work to do in calling people's attention to its significance for our country's development. When doing this, I find my understanding of this subject is deepened, too.

Commercial diplomacy, as the term suggests, is the diplomacy related with commerce. It affects the decisions of a government and in turn influences global trade and investment. In the past, commercial diplomacy concerned mainly the negotiation of import taxation and quota, but as a result of globalization, it now covers a much bigger area. The first step of commercial diplomacy is a deep analysis of the factors that may affect the government's decision. These factors include commercial profits, the effect of the macroeconomics on government policy, the benefits and political influence of the investors, relevant trade regulations and the role that the media plays in affecting public opinions. Commercial diplomacy has a lot to do with political tactics. Debating skills and strategy of alliance are most important in commercial diplomacy. Commercial diplomats have to make use of debating skills to get the investments that they want or the political support in taxation, export credit and control from the government. Apart from this, commercial diplomats have to be good at the strategy of alliance. Alliance with the government, industrial groups, different interest groups and politically influential money holders will help to achieve the expected result. Besides this, commercial diplomacy also covers negotiation, dispute settlement and arbitration.

I realized the backwardness of research in this area in China and the pressing need for development in this field after my study in university and participation in the ICDP CHINA project. In anti-dumping cases, for example, China answered only one third of the accusations against it. This brought heavy economic losses to our country. After China's entrance into WTO, whether it can keep its promises, trade with other countries according to the WTO regulations and thus bring benefits to both sides will depend upon talents. Encouraged by Prof. Cheng, who is using what he has learned in the US to help China to achieve its goal, I strengthened my resolve to study abroad to be a specialized talent in commercial diplomacy.

After all these years of inquiring, I found at last that commercial diplomacy was the life for me. I am proud of the choice I have made because it helps to promote world prosperity and I believe that I can do something for the stable development of world economy.


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