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IATTO was founded in 1974 as the ‘International Association of Institutes of Export’ (IAIE) at a gathering in France attended by representatives from the UK, Chile, Finland, Western Germany, Italy, Sweden, Japan, Australia, Hungary, the International Trade Centre (Geneva, Switzerland) and the World Trade Centre movement. The concept of an international association of entities responsible for education and training in international trade was prompted by the growing conviction that such a body could play an important part in increasing the efficiency of trade and commerce between the various nations of the world. Initially, the Association’s activities were focused primarily on faculty exchange, and information sharing at an annual conference.  It soon became apparent, however, that IATTO’s most valuable role would be in establishing global standards for trade training provision.

In 1994, IAIE members voted to change the name of the body to the International Association of Trade Training Organisations (IATTO) because the operations of many members extended beyond exports to imports and international business operations; and the Association’s membership body had grown to include a number of trade promotion organisations, colleges and universities which were not recognised Institutes of Export.

Today, IATTO’s members span five continents while its Board of Directors comprises representatives from the US, Australia, Europe (Greece), the United Kingdom and South Africa.

ITRISA has the IATTO agency for southern Africa and hosts the IATTO Secretariat in Johannesburg.

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