The start of a new Chapter
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.
It has been an absolute honour to have been involved with the Export Council of Australia (ECA) for over 10 years and it has been a privilege to have now served as the CEO for close to 5 years.
I am proud of what the ECA has accomplished as a team over the last couple of years. Over that period, the ECA grew into an organisation that can be considered the leading advocate for developing the international trade performance of Australian businesses.
During my tenure as the CEO my focus was on building the ECA to support the capacity and capability of SME’s to engage in global trade.
These are not accomplishments one makes alone, I have had the pleasure of working alongside a committed team of gifted, tenacious individuals who have worked together to achieve a common goal.
It also requires a supportive Board and a committed Chair. It has been my great pleasure to have now worked side by side with Dianne Tipping who has been supportive of me throughout the years. A Chair and a CEO should be close, and I sincerely thank Dianne for allowing me the opportunity to learn through her and to continuously seek her expertise and guidance. The ECA would not be where it is today without Dianne Tipping.
Having been passionate about supporting MSME’s through the empowerment of trade and I believe that MSME’s, with the right toolkit will be the backbone of most economies.
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.
It was also important to find a platform which would allow organisations engaged in supporting SMEs in global trade to engage and work together through the sharing of insights and knowledge, collaboration on education programmes and research, trade policy and advocacy.
It was at this time a small team of us began the work on trying to establish the GTPA, a global organisation that would not only provide an international standard to recognise the competencies of global trade professionals but also an umbrella organisation that could pull together and work with the myriad of providers globally supporting and championing the professionalisation of those involved in trade and support SME engagement.
It certainly has not been a walk in the park. However, we have been fortunate enough to have been supported by Grame Drake a renowned expert in ISO certification and who was involved in the original development of ISO standard 17024. We have been privileged to have drawn upon a life time experience from Tristram Travers, who has over 30 years of management experience in trade. As well as Alexander Malaket, a Canadian expert in Trade Finance and Supply Chain finance who readily jumped at the opportunity to Chair our International and Technical Advisory committee (ITAC).
The ITAC has worked tirelessly over the course of the last year to provide the technical knowledge to define the structure and rules of the Global Trade Professionals programme.
The benefits of international trade are currently the subject of debate in various contexts and it is in this context that deliberations around the importance of supporting MSME engagement in global trade ought to be considered and understood. MSMEs account for a significant percentage of gross domestic product and they are the backbone of most economies and supply chains.
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 with the required competencies to support their business to grow.
The establishment of the GTPA will benefit MSMEs and global supply chains by providing clear professional development paths, access to a network of trusted service providers and the ability to build skills and knowledge and at the same time champion and support women business owners.
It has been my pleasure to have had the opportunity to lead the team at ECA and I could not have asked for a more supportive board of directors and I treasure the friendships I have cultivated in the industry.
Finally, I sincerely thank you for your support of the ECA over the years and I have thoroughly enjoyed and trust that we will meet again in trade and export circles in the future and I wish you all the very best for the New Year ahead.