GTPA response to the all party parliamentary group for trade out of poverty

09.12.2017 Lisa McAuley

The benefits of international trade are currently the subject of debate in various contexts, however, it has long been demonstrated that, even with its systemic imperfections which must be acknowledged, trade has been a powerful driver for economic value creation, inclusion and poverty reduction, as well as peace and security.

Trade has, until the peak of the global crisis, grown at rates that exceed the pace of global GDP growth, and thus has also been referenced as a driver of growth of the global economy. In recent years, global supply chains are largely anchored in developing and emerging markets, with large buyers often engaging in trade with communities of suppliers numbering in the thousands or multiple thousands, including micro-enterprises sometimes belonging to local cooperatives.

It is in this macro-context that deliberations around trading out of poverty ought to be considered and understood.
Certain jurisdictions unabashedly leverage development assistance and poverty-reduction contributions to drive policy priorities and political influence, including procurement processes linked to assistance funds. Philosophically, an initiative that aims to promote trade out of poverty among Commonwealth jurisdictions might usefully be positioned as a process rooted in partnership and mutual benefit, rather than an exercise in extending influence. This nuance is perhaps doubly important in the context of ongoing Brexit discussions, post which, the strength of the Commonwealth relationships may become increasingly important.
The Trade Out of Poverty discussion relies on enabling successful trade flows across Commonwealth-linked supply chains. This approach can generate benefits as much for SME suppliers seeking prosperity through trade, as for large buyers helping to raise standards of living in consumer economies, including that of the UK.
Professional competency in the pursuit and conduct of trade then becomes a lynchpin to the success of an overall strategy to Trade Out of Poverty, with global best practices, trusted networks of experts, and effective advocacy, all contributing materially to the overarching objective, in the spirit of ‘a rising tide lifting all boats’.
It is here that the Global Trade Professionals Alliance (GTPA) can make a substantive, highly focused and differentiated contribution.
The GTPA is a not-for-profit, membership-based organisation that represents the needs of organisations involved in capacity and capability-building in international trade.
It enables individuals and organisations to be part of a trusted network of trade professionals, educators and specialists operating in other parts of the world through the Certified Global Trade Professional (GTP) Programme, under ISO/IEC 17024, which is the international standard for the certification of professional competence.