Dear Colleagues and Members,
It has been a landmark month for ICC with the launch of our new Academy and the approval of important changes to our governance structures. We have also continued to take a lead in representing our members’ views on a range of strategically important issues for business-both at local level and in key international processes.
The launch of the ICC Academy marks a new era for ICC and, what’s more, a new era for specialized business education.
I know from my own business experience the value of professional education. Many of our members tell us that “mission critical” skills are now in short supply. According toone recent survey, over half of US companies believe that skills shortages have a significantly detrimental impact on their ability to meet client needs.
The ICC Academy will tackle this problem head on: bymaking world-class training available in a way that suits busy professionals and busy companies.
The ICC Academy will offer a suite of specialized training programmes-starting with 70 courses in the field of trade finance-delivered via a truly innovative online platform.
The ICC Academy was launched at a major event in Singapore on 18 March. The initial reaction from both industry and the media has been overwhelmingly positive. We now look forward to a successful commercial roll out in the coming months. Further updates will follow through the usual channels.
TRADE AND FINANCE
But we must also be alert to some of the headwinds facing international trade. Since the financial crisis, global trade hasslowed significantly, growing by less than 4% over the past two years-well below the pre-crisis average growth of 7%.
In this context, I used a number of public аудиту during a three-day trip to Bangkok-arranged by our Thai national committee-to highlight the impact of protectionism and shortages of trade credit on firms in the ASEAN region.
The latter issue is a growing concern for many of our members. At the height of the financial crisis in 2009, the WTO estimated that there was a US$1 трильйонів shortfall of trade finance globally. Recent estimates suggest that this financing gap has now almost doubled-with access to trade finance now seen as the single biggest barrier to SME exports.
This problem has largely slipped under the international radar to date. But it’s time to make sure policymakers understand the problems the market is facing-a message we’ll be mainstreaming in our international advocacy efforts in the weeks ahead.
I was delighted that we were able to hold one of our regional G20 consultations in Singapore to explore policy priorities for our global network.
In addition, the second meeting of the B20 Trade Task Force-co-chaired by ICC Chairman, Terry McGraw-took place early last month. It concluded with a strong message that G20 governments must take a lead in ratifying the WTO’s Trade Facilitation Agreement, a deal which we estimate could boost global GDP by up to US$1 трильйонів.
Under changes approved by the ICC World Council, the term of ICC’s Chairmanship has now been extended from two to three years. We are extremely lucky to have Terry McGraw as our Chairman and i’m delighted that he has agreed to continue in this role through to June 2016.
The Council also approved the addition of two new Vice-Chairs who will be appointed in the coming months. This will further strengthen ICC’s governance and, what’s more, our ability to represent our members’ interests across the globe.
With best wishes,
Nova agenda no com?rcio internacional*
* Op-ed from Daniel Feffer, Chairman of ICC Brazil, and John Danilovich on WTO trade policy.
Small exporters need help, says ICC
ICC chief calls for ASEAN trade facilitation reform
New ICC Academy offers online business courses
ICC to set up online academy
ICC to set up educational platform
ICC to offer trade finance e-education