Promoting sustainable global trade through digital engagement

Container ship passing under Golden Gate Bridge

International trade is one of those things few of us think about on a daily basis (headlines excepted), but now and again we’re reminded of its colossal scale. I remember crossing Belcher Bay in Hong Kong once and seeing a mammoth container ship nonchalantly pass by, like a floating skyscraper.  God knows what it was carrying. Ancient mummies? Japanese toilets?

Fact is, the importance of trade to the world is enormous., and any wobble is going to be felt. There’s the trade dispute between China and the US , for instance, and closer to home, the Brexit shenanigans. The impact of these events will affect us all to a greater degree than almost anything else.

So it’s exciting to be providing digital support to a philanthropic organisation that is influencing the international trade debate. The Hinrich Foundation was founded in 2012 by an entrepreneur with an incredible career in international trade of six decades – and counting – and a solid vision. The founder’s mission: to encourage peace between nations through promoting sustainable trade.

The organisation does this through education and trade research. Take for instance the Digital Trade Project, which sizes the value of the digital trade opportunity for economies in Asia, including Malaysia recently (yes, I need to rethink my hair, among other things):

The Digital Trade Project has shown that digitally enabled services in Indonesia, for example, could grow by 13 percent by 2030, driven by online video advertising, among other exports. In even more relatable terms, demand for Indonesian content is growing. Perhaps you have heard of YouTube personality Raditya Dika – the standup comic is hugely popular outside his home country. 

I’m confident that Hinrich Foundation content will also grow in appeal among relevant audiences. I’m less certain about other predictions – don’t ask me about how the trade war between the US and China will pan out, or even Brexit’s prospects…

InfoSyte, an IT trainer with an eye on the future

It probably goes without saying that to stay in the job market these days, amidst so much uncertainty, you have to keep learning. It’s evolve, or die (not literally). While there are still many cushy jobs about, the days of milking a piece of paper you received 20 years ago are over for most of us.

So I’m excited to be working with InfoSyte, a leading IT trainer in Malaysia, for two reasons: 1) I get to tell their story through data-driven approaches, which is always fun; and 2) I’m familiarising myself with the latest IT skills and certifications. In other words, I’m learning about learning at a time when ICT matters more than ever. Very meta.

For example, I knew that cybersecurity was important. But I was less sure about the skills or qualifications necessary to succeed in the cybersecurity world. It all seemed very cryptic (excuse the pun) and even off-limits – until now.

InfoSyte partners with the likes of Cisco, Huawei, Microsoft, Oracle and CompTIA to provide the very latest IT training. They also offer soft skills training, which is equally important in today’s world – ultimately, while having technical skills are important, you will be more marketable if you can influence people, especially as automation gathers pace.

Their location is also a strategic advantage: InfoSyte is based in Malaysia, located in the heart of the fast-growing ASEAN region and within sight of China.

While they have two training centres in the KL area, InfoSyte also deliver classes around the world. In recent weeks they were in South Africa, Ghana and Zambia (the latter two are also Belt & Road countries).

If you’re working in IT and interested in taking a course, and quite frankly you should be – because the world is undergoing rapid change at the moment – then take a look at InfoSyte’s new website.

And if you’re not working in IT, then take a look at the website anyway – IT is a safer career choice than most.