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About us

IKEF - Internacia Komerca kaj Ekonomia Fakgrupo In accordance with its Constitution, IKEF, the International Specialist Group for Commerce and Economics) has the aim of widening the knowledge and use of the international language, Esperanto, in the fields of commerce, economics and economic science generally. To attain these aims, the Group is committed to using methods as set out now: 

  • to publish and maintain up to date technical wordlists for use in the concerned fields

  • to organise meetings and study workshops in these fields

  • to assist members who use Esperanto in their commercial dealings, for example by facilitating exchanges of information, and

  • to publish specialist bulletins and other publications in the concerned fields, as well as proposing similarly specialist articles for the Esperanto-world generally.

The historical background for the Specialist Group The Group arose from an initiative jointly agreed, in 1984, by Mr Braun and Mr Lawrence Mee, from Great Britain, then co-proprietor of a specialist language school in Rotterdam, in The Netherlands. A previous specialist group, with broadly similar aims, had been The Institute for Esperanto in Commerce and Industry (Instituto por Esperanto en Komerco kaj Industrio, EKI), under the direction of Mr F.L.M. Wensing (The Netherlands), Mr Erik Carlen (Sweden) and Mr Bruno Vogelmann, (Germany), during the 60s and 70s period. 

Mr Braun, from professional experience as Purchasing Director of a large engineering company, had become convinced of the potential value of Esperanto in the field of international commercial activities. Jointly then with Mr Mee, in 1984, he began to publicise the idea of intensifying the use of the language in the fields of commerce and economics, and to recruit likeminded adepts of Esperanto to collaborate in that aim. The first step was to ask for comments among those members of the world association (Universala Esperanto-Asocio, UEA), known as specialist representatives in the concerned fields. These enquiries went out to more than 150 addresses in 67 countries, and included clear requests for collaboration. The reaction was so encouraging from so many specialists that the only way to keep in touch was seen to be by issuing a Newsletter (given the name at that time of The As-required Newsletter of IKEF, which has since become the organ of the Group, La Merkato (The Market).

The first meeting of functionaries was held on 19th April, 1985, in Brugge, Belgium, at the invitation of Mr Rotsaert. He, with Messrs Braun and Mee, agreed that the indications of support were sufficient to go ahead with a plan to set up a formal international specialist group. The inaugural meeting of that group took place in Augsburg, Germany, on 6th August, 1985, during the 70th World Congress of Esperanto, with an attendance of 30 interested specialists.

Since that inaugural meeting, membership of the Group has steadily increased. Eight years later, the registered membership surpassed 100, and the decision was taken to seek official affiliation to Universala Esperanto-Asocio in Rotterdam. During the 79th World Congress, 1994, in Seoul, South Korea, the Committee of the world body accepted the group to be such an affiliated specialist group. By the end of 1999, membership stood at 150 members, in 36 countries.

Highlights in the life of IKEF Ten years after its foundation, the Group recorded the following events: 


  • constant regular publication of the Newsletter, La Merkato

  • the issue at two-yearly intervals of a publication of members' professional identities, giving not only names and addresses, but also descriptions of the profession, hobbies, pertinent experience and expertise, and projected future activities

  • publication of specialist articles on economic matters, especially in the monthly magazine Monato

  • support for the monthly Economic Bulletin for U.S.A. (in Esperanto), published by Dr Thomas Goldman

  • publication of the Komerca Terminaro, an Esperanto version of the publication Key Words of International Trade from the International Chamber of Commerce

  • collaboration with and suport for the publication of the catalogue of wares produced in the region Meuse, France

  • acquisition of advertising orders from many different firms, mainly for publication in MONATO

  • active support for the translation service available for firms, whether Esperantist or not, known as ITRE ( +33 [0] 241 7847 75; dan.cdm@wanadoo.frITRE)

  • an agency service to help and assist negotiations between and among Esperanto-speaking enterprises (altho' IKEF itself does not become engaged in the negotiations as such)

  • providing lecturers and tutors on economic subjects

  • organisation of symposiums and seminars, and

  • collaboration in publication of tourist word-lists

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