The start of a better engagement with the world - the Institute at the WTO Public Forum

Wed 27 Sept 2017
Posted by: William Barns-Graham
IOE News

learning international trade

The Institute this week held its landmark session on ‘Learning International Trade’ at the World Trade Organisation’s Public Forum in Geneva.

The full title for the session was ‘Learning International Trade: How formal qualifications help us reap the benefits of global trade’.

The landmark session

The panel included:

  • Rose Blatch, CEO, International Trade Institute of Southern Africa (ITRISA)
  • Lesley Batchelor, Director General, Institute of Export and International Trade
  • Hans-Michael Wolffgang, Head, Department of Customs and Excise, Institute of Tax Law, University of Münster, Germany
  • Jan Hoffmann, Chief, Trade Logistics Branch, United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD)
  • Moderator: Arne Mielken, Young President, Institute of Export and International Trade

The panellists shared their experiences and practices in training companies and individuals to learn the skills of international trade. They tackled some of the challenges involved in running trade qualifications in the UK, South Africa and Germany, and spoke of the positive impact that their teaching has had on exporters.

We will be sharing videos of the presentations in due course.

Making new friends in Geneva

karl brauner and the ioe

Both Lesley and Arne also attended several sessions at the Forum and met key figures at the WTO including Roberto Azevêdo, the Director General, and Karl Brauner, Deputy Director General. At these meetings the Institute pointed out that the UK must do more to engage with international markets and trade organisations as it forges its new path post-Brexit.

The Institute hopes it did its bit to begin this process while in Geneva this week.

The start of a more global approach to trade

lesley batchelor at the wto

Speaking upon her return from Geneva, Lesley told us:

“It’s been a great honour to run a session at the Public Forum and to meet such important and fascinating people at the WTO. We’re already looking forward to next year! This needs to be the start, not the end, of our engagement with the wider world, as we look to do our bit in making ‘Global Britain’ happen”.

This year’s Public Forum was titled ‘Trade – Behind the Headlines’ and sought to ‘go beyond the rhetoric and examine in detail the realities of trade’. It presents itself as a ‘platform for frank discussions among policy makers, civil society representatives, business people and researchers’.

Among the key speakers at this year’s forum were Christine Lagarde, MD for the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and Mukhisa Kituyi, the Secretary-General of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).

You can read more about events at the Forum in Arne’s blogs.

wto plenary hall