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January 10, 2012

Written by Bob Meyer, Editor of BarterNews

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IRTA Completes Record Year

(This article was submitted by Ron Whitney, Executive Director of IRTA.)

There is no question that 2011 was a very good year for the International Reciprocal Trade Association. We have enjoyed a number of triumphs and successes, however, along with these achievements, 2011 presented substantial challenges as well. Most notably, in May we lost our dear friend and greatly revered president and leader, David Wallach.

Although we lost his daily guidance, IRTA has not lost his vision nor the momentum achieved by his guidance. David believed it was IRTA’s unequivocal destiny, as the world organization for the modern trade and barter industry, to enlighten businesses across the globe to the profit producing benefits that the barter industry provides. He realized that by utilizing the non-productive assets of excess inventory and/or capacity, our industry will undoubtedly raise the standard of living for everyone.

The IRTA Global Board of Directors is proud to report the many highlights of 2011:

·         IRTA membership grew over 20% both in North America and globally. This growth was achieved during the most difficult economic climate the world has faced in many years.

·         The 2011 IRTA convention was a huge success! Held in a luxurious four-and-a-half star all-inclusive resort in Mexico, this convention saw record breaking attendance and included a number of highly informative and educational seminars that were praised universally by the attendees.

·         Thanks to the very active Membership and Universal Currency Committees, both IRTA and UC exceeded revenue projections for the year.

·         The Global Board worked diligently and developed a “Conflict of Interest” section for the organization’s bylaws.

·         IRTA has committed funds for the implementation of an aggressive and multi-faceted social media program that we look forward to seeing develop in the coming year.

·         The Global Board wrote and passed a new, tougher, and clearer “Code of Ethics and Conduct” for the organization.

·         IRTA Executive Director Ron Whitney, attended the roll-out of the City of London’s study, “Capacity Trade and Credit,” and through Mr. Whitney, helped contribute to the research in the study’s developmental stage.

·         IRTA retained a new public relations consultant in anticipation of substantially increasing industry recognition in the press worldwide.

·         Universal Currency set an all-time annual trading record, as well as a record setting number of trade exchange participants.

·         IRTA worked meticulously to keep in close contact with the U.S. Attorney General and the IRS in regards to the Liberty Dollars verdict. Executive Director Ron Whitney was proactive in preventing any harm from coming to the modern trade and barter industry. In order to increase awareness, IRTA issued a press release on this matter.

·         The IRTA library has archived a number of informative materials, dating back to 1979, concerning the industry and the organization. This considerable collection has always been available to current IRTA members for their use within their organization, but was made more accessible via a new tab on the IRTA web site.

In closing, the association would like to take the opportunity to thank all of our current and future members for their contribution in making 2011 a record-setting year for IRTA and UC. The organization as a whole has shown exceptional growth and strong financials which support future growth for all members.

We have seen an improving environment that we anticipate will encourage many more businesses to utilize barter as a part of their business plan. There have been a growing number of start-up trade and barter groups, as well. This growth is encouraging to us, however, we are concerned that the new exchange operators will not understand the challenges they will face and the resources they will need to obtain in order to achieve profitability.

In order to prevent potential challenges, IRTA welcomes trade exchanges, corporate trade organizations, and community currencies to affiliate with IRTA and the “Code of Ethics & Conduct” of its members. IRTA wishes to share its accumulated knowledge from model contracts to accounting standards with all participants of the industry.

Mr. Whitney is confident that new members will quickly learn what our current IRTA members already know: IRTA is not an expense nor a cost, but rather an investment in their business, that pays significant financial and professional dividends.

For more information click here.


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ECCO Symposium Discusses Offset Benefits

Defense expenditure in Europe, measured as a percentage of GDP, has decreased in the past twenty years. The defense industry has to restructure to ensure that companies become capable partners in the European defense market.

Directive 2009/81/EC on defense and sensitive security procurement and Article 346 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) form two pillars of this restructuring and were the main topics at the latest ECCO (European Club for Countertrade and Offset) symposium in Brussels, Belgium. The 90 attendees represented 17 countries.

Speakers debated issues related to the European Defense Equipment Market (EDEM) and defense procurement in EU. The European Commission stated that European Union (EU) industries are significantly dependent on EU member states’ spending and that an industrial restructuring at the European level is needed as a first step to create an EDEM. To reach this goal, however, an adequate legislative framework has to be created.

Summary of two-day discussions

Aims and the implementation of the Directive were discussed in presentations made by the European Commission, as well as in the roundtable discussions where attendees could raise questions and debate scenarios.

The Directive was implemented to counter:

·         Fragmentation of the defense market

·         Lack of competitiveness on a worldwide market

·         Lack of inter-operability

·         Lack of transparency

·         Budget constraints

The aim of the Directive is to establish a competitive EDEM and an efficient European Defense Technological and Industrial Base (EDTIB). Czech Republic, Denmark, Greece, France, Lithuania, Malta, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom have officially transposed the Directive.

Member states that have not yet written the Directive into national law have until the first quarter of 2012 to announce their transposition.

Article 346

The TFEU mentions that the internal market is built on fundamental freedoms and principles prioritizing equal treatment. According to EU Primary Law there needs to be free movement of goods, persons, services and capital, while non-discrimination and transparency need to be assured. Offset is seen as contracting the basic Treaty principles, because it discriminates on the basis of nationality and impedes free movement of goods and services. 

The only possible justification for Offset can therefore be found in Art 346 TFEU, and the Offset requirement itself needs to fulfill the conditions for its use.

However, the “catch-all” approach can no longer be tolerated as it is incompatible with EU law. The new approach is to move away from compensation logic to focus on capability and security requirements. The new Directive offers possibilities to achieve security of supply, operational sovereignty and market access for local industries. Article 346 is included if it is necessary to address national security measures.

Representatives from two EU countries explained how they are applying the Directive and interpreting Art 346.

Further debates included the question whether the Directive will really open in Europe, and discussions of how national security vastly differ from one member state to the next.

Workshop

On the second day, a collection of presenters shared fundamental reasons for implementing Offset policies. Speakers’ presentations detailed how Malaysia, Israel, India and Czech Republic, benefited from Offset. The impact of direct and indirect Offset, respectively, on a company’s strategy and activities were investigated and shared by two different speakers.

Next symposium

The next ECCO Symposium will coincide with the Eurosatory 2012 trade show in Paris, France. The forum presentations will focus on Offset in Brazil, while the workshop with look at the role of SMEs in Offset.

For more information click here.

ECCO is an association for European companies, individuals and institutions involved in Offset and countertrade. The association organizes symposiums where members and guests can unravel matters related to trade, international law and government procurement. Offset research and training are also aims of ECCO.


Is Your Trade Exchange Missing Out On Valuable New Business?

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To keep your listing current is very easy. See the links below to (A) update any changes to your company’s listing, such as new location, phone number, web site or other information, and (B) if your company has not been listed.

Here’s how to get on board:

To make changes to your listing click here.

For new listings click here.


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