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Rose Blatch – Executive Director

Throughout the world, heightened competition and rapidly changing political and economic scenarios make the international trade field more challenging than ever. No one can predict how recent phenomena such as the UK’s forthcoming exit from the EU, the simmering discontent in a number of other EU countries, Donald Trump’s success in the US presidential election and the growing US military presence in eastern Europe and the South China Sea will affect traditional trading patterns in the years ahead.

What we do know is that South African companies, and those of the African continent as a whole, need a strong core of informed professionals who are able to tackle the complexities of conducting business internationally in order to mitigate risks and overcome some of the obstacles to sustainability.  Furthermore, countries, in general, need trade to generate economic growth.

In response to these needs, the International Trade Institute of Southern Africa (ITRISA) offers a comprehensive, yet flexible, distance education programme and a wide variety of short duration, face-to-face training courses in international trade. Both offerings provide participants with valuable insights into the global trading environment, and the opportunities and challenges faced by international trade practitioners. Latterly, short training courses, tailored to meet specific needs, have become increasingly popular with ITRISA’s corporate clients, while consultancy services on varied export and import issues are utilised by both government and private sector entities.

In August 2016, ITRISA celebrated 20 years of existence during which time approximately 2 500 clients enrolled more than 16 000 individuals on one or other (or several) of its programmes. Additionally, over the past 15 years, some 10 000 undergraduate and post-graduate university students have benefited (via licensing agreements) from access to ITRISA’s study material.

All ITRISA’s trainees and graduates have gained, or stand to gain from the Institute’s extensive involvement in the UK-registered International Association of Trade Training Organisations (IATTO), the international standards body for international trade education and training. Since its inception, ITRISA has been represented on the Board of IATTO, and, since 1997, has maintained its status as an IATTO-accredited provider of international trade training. ITRISA representatives have attended and delivered presentations at more than twenty international IATTO conferences, and assisted several countries to establish national international trade education institutes similar to ITRISA. Currently, ITRISA also hosts the secretariat of the international body.

Looking forward, we have exciting plans to further assist individuals, companies, government entities and trade training organisations in their endeavours to ensure efficient and effective international trade.  We invite you to accompany us on this journey.

Rose Blatch