GTPA’s European road trip

26.07.2018 Lisa McAuley
GTPA’s European road trip

GTPA hit the road in June for a whirlwind tour around Europe to meet with key stakeholders in Germany, Belgium, Amsterdam, Geneva and the UK. Whilst I had the great pleasure to attend the IfTI Global Symposium: “Financing. Impact. Together”, my long-time colleague, Collins Rex, participated in the WCO eCommerce Working group face-to-face meeting in Brussels as part of a 4-day gathering to determine the essential data elements for eCommerce customs clearance and agree on key eCommerce definitions.

Collins and I then had the opportunity to meet with the eCommerce Foundation in Amsterdam. The eCommerce Foundation is an independent non-profit organization, initiated by worldwide national eCommerce associations and online and omnichannel selling companies from industries such as retail, travel & finance. GTPA will shortly be making an exciting announcement on our collaboration with the eCommerce foundation. Watch this space!

Moving onto Geneva, in addition to a whirl of meetings, the GTPA was delighted to join a panel discussion organised by the informal working group on MSMEs to celebrate MSMEs day. The panel session was convened specifically to address the topic of “Trade Facilitation for MSMEs”, a policy area that is of considerable importance to the GTPA. We know that for most MSMEs navigating the complexity of doing business globally and maintaining a competitive edge requires the development of new skills and knowledge, as well as the ability to draw on a trusted network of skilled professionals and consulting services with the required competencies to support their businesses to grow.

The GTPA is particularly focussed on ensuring that those companies that are international from day one of operations, those so-called “born global” SMEs, have the right competencies and the right support ecosystem to assist them to take advantage of new opportunities.

Seeking certification bodies

A core focus for our trip was really to engage with key stakeholders as we are now looking to engage suitable partners globally to play a key role as certification bodies for the new GTP certification scheme. GTPA is built on a model of collaboration and identifying the right partners is a crucial element of growing our trade ecosystem. Travelling across Europe our goal was to identify these partners and industry bodies so that we can empower them to adopt an effective certification scheme for the on-going development of global trade professionals, either in their countries or in their various areas of specialisation.

I would like to thank my colleague Collins Rex for making the trip enjoyable and for the laughs!

The GTPA is continuing to hold discussions with off-shore partners to establish a local delivery model for implementation globally and we hit the road again in August! Organisations such as universities and educational institutions are encouraged to also consider becoming approved course providers in the GTP Programme as this provides a fast track pathway for certification of ongoing training for global trade professionals to maintain their CPD.

Thank you to all the wonderful people we met along the way, given the current state of affairs in international trade it is always nice to have discussions with seasoned trade professionals who like the GTPA are trying to find ways to empower MSMEs and foster sustainable trade development.