The first economics and trade discipline of Harbin Institute of Technology, industrial foreign discipline (the predecessor of the Department of Economics and Trade), was found in 1988, and officially started the undergraduate program in 1989. The department was accredited to grand master’s degree of international trade in 2001. In 2005, the master station in applied economics (the first-level discipline) was approved. In the same year, the key undergraduate discipline of Heilongjiang province was bestowed.
There are 16 faculty members in the department, including 6 professors, 8 associate professors; 6 doctoral supervisors and 11 master supervisors, 9 doctors, the doctors’ proportion up to 60%. The faculty team has high quality attainments, strong research capabilities, and rich teaching experience, and sixty percent of the academic leaders and academic backbones have overseas study experience.
The faculty members undertake more than thirty national or provincial (ministerial) level projects，have been awarded seven provincial（ministerial） level scientific research achievement prizes, and have published more than 200 papers. In addition, the department also undertakes a large number of projects entrusted by ministries and commissions, and local provinces and municipalities, actively offering advice and suggestions for promoting national and regional economic development, and making outstanding contributions. The main academic research areas include: （（1）global division of labor and refined management of space, devoted to spatial interpretation of China’s economic growth, the theory of industrial division and its methodologies, and refined management of factor-intensive space; （2）regional resource and environment constraints, and low-carbon and cycle economy mode, devoted to economic analysis of resources and environment, circular economy research and low carbon economy; （3） division of global marketing network and intellectual property trade, devoted to customer behavior and cross-cultural customer asset management under the globalization background, marketing and intellectual property of multinational corporations, international industry and technology transfer, and other research fields.
The nearly three decades since the discipline establishment have seen the graduates distributed in national economy and financial departments, foreign trade sectors， and government administration. The mission of the department is to cultivate comprehensive foreign trade talents with solid economic foundation, deep professional knowledge and excellent skills, and the capabilities to adapt economic management and foreign business development. We brought the needs of China's cross-border e-commerce, Free Trade Zone and investment abroad into our teaching and research, and have established internship programs for undergraduates and master’s students with Shanghai Free Trade Zone, Russian Rapid Transit and some other cross-border e-commerce industry parks in Heilongjiang Province. Our department attaches great importance to international academic exchange and cooperation. Educational and academic exchange programs have been built with the related school (department) in some overseas universities, such as Novosibirsk State Technical University, North Carolina State University, Texas State University, Incheon National University and so on. The main graduate employment fields include foreign trade enterprises, foreign-funded enterprises, foreign-related administrative bodies at all levels, teaching and academic institutions, and so on.