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Trade professional designation marks 20th anniversary

By Mike Shaver

A designation for international trade professionals is growing in popularity amongst Canada’s trade commissioners who say the certification is a ‘feather in their caps.’

Earning the Certified International Trade Professional (CITP®|FIBP®) designation denotes a significant accomplishment and expertise in international trade. The designation is offered by the Forum for International Trade Training (FITT), a non‑profit organization dedicated to providing international business training, resources and professional certification to individuals and businesses. The designation aims to reinforce and recognize the skills of global business experts stemming from a variety of career paths.

One such career path is that of a trade commissioner. Part of Global Affairs Canada (GAC), the Canadian Trade Commissioner Service (TCS) is a network of professionals located in cities across Canada and in more than 160 locations worldwide to help Canadian business succeed in international markets. To date more than 125 trade commissioners have earned the CITP designation.

Maxim Berdichevsky, a trade commissioner and deputy director of investment trade policy at GAC in Ottawa, cites incentives for both his clients and for himself as a trade practitioner as motives for pursuing his CITP certification.

“It (the CITP designation) gives clients confidence that they are dealing with a professional that has a certain minimum level of skill and experience,” he says. “While for a client it is a sign of assurance of sorts, for the practitioner it is a recognition of hard work and professional pride.”

Likewise, professionals choosing to pursue the CITP designation can expect their aptitude for international trade to be reinforced to clients and colleagues. The process also helps professionals benchmark their current knowledge base and fortify their expertise in multiple facets of international commerce.

Carine Graziano, a trade commissioner based in Calgary, says having the CITP designation helps her gain a better understanding of her clients’ needs.

“It (the CITP designation) has enhanced my credibility with clients, partners and within my department,” she says. “Perhaps more importantly, it allows me to have a much deeper appreciation of our clients’ international business strategy, challenges and objectives.”

In June 2018, FITT celebrated the 20th anniversary of its CITP designation by recognizing the accomplishments of CITP certified professionals, many of whom are employees of the TCS through various initiatives.

Learn more about FITT and its CITP designation.

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