Developing the new generation of talent for the future of global trade

by Stacey Choe

APC member Merle Hinrich, who is usually based in Hong Kong, hosted a roundtable lunch in Singapore on 5 March discussing about education required for the new age of global trade.  APC helped to bring together a group of members, government officials and industry leaders who offered different but critical perspectives.

Due to Mr. Hinrich’s long history and success in international trade, primarily through Global Sources Ltd, Hinrich Foundation focuses on promoting sustainable global trade.  To further this, they develop education programmes with academia and industry that addresses changing talent needs in the global trade sector.  That brought the conversation at the meeting to the way that trade has widely evolved, and is anticipated to, in the near future.

Discussions centred on the role of AI, automation, block-chain and other technologies that disrupt the traditional ways of trading, especially in commodities.  A senior official from Enterprise Singapore explained that they worked with Nanyang Technological University and Singapore Management University to come up with an International Trading Programme that provided the students to have industry experience and technical training on tools that will allow them to dive straight in to work without further training by employers.

The conversation then discussed a Singapore government initiative to develop a platform that provides authentication to online cross-border transactions through an agreed set of standards.

Whatever it is, the future is certainly changing rapidly, and at a pace that leaves the poor and marginalised sometimes even farther behind.  Whilst e-commerce platforms can help small manufacturers reach a global market and cut out the middle men, technology can also be the factor that further widens the gap to those with no knowledge of it.

With philanthropy, we can help to give more access to more people who might otherwise be left behind.

Anyone who is interested to find out more about Hinrich Foundation’s work or are interested to partner with them can contact us at [email protected].  Hinrich Foundation is looking for partners to co-fund more scholars interested in global trade, and to seek industry partners in job placements.