International engagement, rules-based, fair and freer trade are being challenged today on the basis of narrow self-interest, ill-informed discourse and outright disregard for the facts
International engagement, rules-based, fair and freer trade are being challenged today on the basis of narrow self-interest, ill-informed discourse and outright disregard for the facts. Which is why an organisation that can play an important role in raising, substantially, the quality of the discussion around trade, the quality of the conduct of trade around the world, and the wider positive impact of trade on development, poverty-reduction and economic inclusion is so important.
It is within this context that I have had the privilege to be invited to Chair the inaugural "International and Technical Advisory Committee" of the GTPA, at a time when trade and international engagement could not be more important to the future of the international community, and to the prosperity of businesses, including SMEs and micro-enterprises around the world.
The pursuit of opportunities in international markets was long considered a business that one could only "learn by doing" - an approach that worked relatively well for thousands of years, but that is less effective today, given the complexities and the pace of change of international commerce.
The idea and the philosophy behind the Global Trade Professionals Alliance (GTPA) could not be presented to the international community at a more perfect, even critically important, moment in time.
The GTPA aims to advance and accelerate the professionalisation of the practice of all aspects of international trade, including related areas in cross-border business and investment, taking the broadest view of what constitutes - and contributes to - international commerce.
In addition, we will develop an unparalleled, trusted global network of practitioners across all disciplines and from all parts of the globe, engaging experts from businesses of all sizes, from government and public-sector entities, international institutions, academia, and other interested organizations, to support the certification and professional development aspect of the GTPA mandate. These same world-class experts will contribute to the advocacy and thought-leadership work of the GTPA.
This moment in history demands a thoughtful, strategic approach to the evolution of the global architecture for trade, investment, and international engagement, acknowledging imperfections but being far more effective in articulating the value and benefits of trade and international engagement across the globe.
The GTPA is uniquely placed to shape and advance this ambitious set of objectives. Join us and make your own contribution to this most important of human endeavours.