This article was published before we became the Chartered Institute of Export & International Trade on 10 July 2024, and this is reflected in references to our old brand and name. For more information about us becoming Chartered, visit our dedicated webpage on the change here.

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In 1995, the World Trade Organisation (WTO) was established to administer WTO trade agreements and it currently enjoys a membership of 164 countries.

Two critical Agreements were set up:

• The General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) covering international trade in goods.

• International trade in services being defined by the Four Modes of Supply of the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS).

In other words, ‘tangibles’ such as physical goods & products are governed by a variety of international trade rules; pure services or ‘intangibles’ primarily are defined by the persons who either deliver or receive a service and by the location of that delivery.

In recent years it has been increasingly clear there is a possible fifth mode of supply that bridges goods and services. It has been simply described as the ‘manu-services’ sector although the impact of commercial internet usage also outdates the preciseness of the original four supply modes.

In a typical manufacturing chain there are a number of identifiable elements that involve provision of value-added ‘intangibles’ – for example, product & service development; routes of supply to market; after-sales service.

Therefore, the majority of exporters, regardless of their industry, have a varying need to both understand and competitively provide appropriate & added-value services to overseas customers.

The Institute of Export & International Trade has recently developed a unique educational course to satisfy these needs entitled ‘Selling Services, Software and Skills overseas'. The distance learning programme forms a practical and useful addition to the Institute’s educational portfolio of expert tutor coached courses.

The course is specifically designed for practising exporters, whether in pure or manu-services. Throughout the programme, participants are continually being asked to refer course materials to their own live international business.

Subscribers to the course can be drawn from various functions of the exporter’s business and can be of benefit to any level of international experience.

For example: 

  • Enhance the international induction process for new employees 
  • Develop employees who move from ‘back-office’ functions to front-line international marketing, sales & technical services 
  • Assuming ‘one is never too old to learn’, provide an opportunity for experienced personnel to self-develop their skills in marketing their international services

Further details can be found here or by contacting Dick Brentnall at