Singapore, 22 May: The proliferation of trade agreements over the last 20 years, have contributed to strengthening economies and improving livelihood for more people around the world. For those looking beyond borders, to explore international opportunities in untapped markets, having a solid understanding of what these agreements can do is essential. To help navigate the often difficult and legalistic Free Trade Agreement (FTAs) rules, the educational arm of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), the ICC Academy, has launched a Free Trade Agreement Certificate (FTAC). The specialised online e-course will equip businesses with the knowledge and expertise required to boost export competitiveness.
In today’s global trade landscape, FTAs have proved to be one of the best ways to open up foreign markets for businesses. These agreements not only reduce export barriers, but also enhance the rule of law. With FTAs in place, international trade becomes easier and cheaper between partner countries, which helps create a stable trading and investment environment.
With the ever-growing importance of FTAs in mind, the ICC Academy has designed a certification that will benefit businesses of all sizes, small- and medium-sized enterprises in particular. Speaking about the latest programme, ICC Academy General Manager Daniel Kok said: “Over the past several years, it has become apparent that not many companies fully utilised the benefits of FTAs to address their current business challenges. With nearly 420 existing trade agreements (according to the World Trade Organization) in place, it’s important for businesses to be adept at using FTAs to reduce operational costs and identify new growth opportunities.”
The new curriculum provides a collaborative mapping for companies to understand the essentials of FTAs and their application. Divided into four lessons, the two-hour interactive course covers the strategic planning behind FTAs, a basic overview and the importance of FTAs for business operations. It also includes three industry case studies. By completing the programme, businesses will learn how to source new suppliers at competitive rates, achieve higher gross margins through cost reduction and enter key overseas market.
Giving insight into the drafting process of the certificate, Principal Trainer and Director of Globalab Maler Vilee said: “A rules-based international trade environment has transformed developing nations, allowing them to increase exports. The strength of these agreements has brought together like-minded nations to forge closer trade ties and deepen commitments. FTAs continue to grow, and it is imperative that these rules reach the business community so that they may fully benefit from the changes. I am glad to author this e-course in partnership with the ICC Academy, whose role in training and the dissemination of knowledge in this area is of vital importance.”
The programme will be delivered via the ICC Academy’s innovative digital platform and includes new features comprising an integrated and searchable course glossary of terms, dynamic videos, a quiz review dashboard for assessment tracking, achievement badges for progression tracking, automatic bookmarking and pre-assessment games.
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