We are currently living in extraordinary circumstances, and first and foremost we must remain safe and keep ourselves, our community, and those closest
to us healthy.
The Global Trade Professionals Alliance (GTPA) is joining forces to collaborate with the Institute of International Trade (IIT) at The University of
Adelaide and the Supply Chain Resource Cooperative (SCRC), Poole College of Management at North Carolina State University.
As a group, we are aware that as businesses implement major changes to manage disruptions and continue operating, many could benefit from the insight
and fellowship of peers in similar positions, and the assistance of experts who can offer advice and leadership.
Last Thursday the WTO held a workshop to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the WTO Agreement on Rules of Origin, CEO of the GTPA Lisa McAuley
was asked to speak on a panel to discuss increasing demands on product certification and origin traceability. Below is a copy of the speech.
Despite an international context that has grown more hostile for global trade, flows of goods, services, and investment continue to develop, encouraged
by the negotiation of free trade agreements and the emergence of global value chains. This entails constant changes to our work on rules of origin.
By the time we think we have found a solution to a problem, new demands emerge that also require our creativity and commitment. Hence, the importance
of this event so that we do not lose momentum in addressing old and new challenges.
In advance of International Women’s Day on the 8th March, the GTPA is today pleased to build on the campaign we launched last year to shine a light on
the women who rock international trade. Last year we focused on women working within international trade from the perspective of working within global
trade as a professional. In 2020, our campaign will focus on highlighting women rocking international business, from business owners to CEOs to those working
within different business functions supporting business development and growth.
Today’s business leaders confront a host of political, economic, policy, regulatory, environmental and institutional barriers.
On the international political front, the headlines are full of ‘trade wars’ news. The rise of populist sentiment in the developed world is challenging
many of the post-cold war assumptions, wherein the march of trade liberalisation and liberal political systems were in lockstep.
Political debates increasingly reflect these international tensions, as well as the broader, deteriorating, regional security environment.
Security, trade and investment are now more, and increasingly, entwined, affecting trade policies and regulations across the globe.
Yet threats bring new opportunities including new trade routes opening and technological advancements that will simultaneously render cross-border trade
easier to do, while multiplying the possibilities for dispersing production facilities internationally and bringing goods and services closer to consumers.
Our recent session as part of the Aid for Trade Global Review emphasized the importance of women entrepreneurs in international trade. The title of the
session "Women who rock the international trade" had its origins in a social media campaign that coincided with the international day of women to celebrate
the contribution of women to the world of international trade. The campaign particularly focussed on the unsung heroes, the women who daily make a
contribution, but out of the spotlight. The focus of the discussion was how women can capitalise on their huge potential to contribute to the world
economy. Discussion centred around gender equality in trade, sustainable initiatives to encourage women to trade globally, and the constraints faced
by women. The participants also discussed the need to integrate gender aspect into trade policy. The session was organised by GTPA and EIF.
“The GTPA congratulations the 76 WTO members committed to establishing eCommerce rules. The rapid pace and scale of technological change and global flows
of information, among other forces, are disrupting labour markets and fundamentally altering the future of work. While these shifts may create economic
growth, new jobs and flexible work, they may also lead to the automation and consequent disappearance of routine, manual roles,” said Lisa McAuley,
CEO of the Global Trade Professionals Alliance (GTPA).
Technological advancements, despite the disruption, also create opportunities for expansion into global markets for sectors of the population excluded
from more traditional trade mechanisms. The ability to seize these opportunities and manage potential obstacles, however, is not evenly distributed.
As the Executive Director of the GTPA I have worked in international trade for over a decade, focused on supporting SMEs to build their capacity and capability
to engage in global trade. During my time as the CEO of the ECA it was our goal to support SME’s to successfully compete on the global stage. This
was achieved through the support of the Government and the private sector. At the ECA we engaged in activities such as skills development, research,
the development of online tools as well as trade policy and advocacy.
It has been widely researched and broadly acknowledged that SMEs and micro-enterprises are important drivers of economic value-creation around the world,
whether in developing markets or OECD economies. Similarly, the character of international trade as an engine of growth was axiomatic for decades prior
to the global crisis.
The “TPP-11” has finally moved forward under a new agreement to be known as the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership,
with talks finalised in Japan overnight. Canada is back on board and the agreement is on track to be signed in March this year.
Happy New Year and all very best wishes to you and yours from the ITAC and the GTPA Team, and here’s hoping that all who celebrated over the past weeks
have had an enjoyable Holiday Season!
In the New Year I will be moving on to head up the Global Trade Professionals Alliance (GTPA). Over the years a group of us explored different avenues
in which companies and the community of service providers that support them could obtain international certification to recognise their competency
in the field of global trade. We could find no pathway in which there was a global standard (which I found rather strange), particularly as we advocate
for the harmonisation of global standards in other sectors.
GTPA is a new not-for-profit, membership-based organisation connecting individuals and organisations to a trusted network with recognised capabilities
that power supply chains and their communities around the world.