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Paul Suplizio, Secretary To European Assembly & Global Board Director, Reports From Paris

Twenty-seven delegates from 14 countries participated in the Paris Conference of the Assembly of Barter Companies of Europe and Asia and IRTA Europe on May 1-2, 2010. The Conference, titled �Seizing Growth Opportunities For Business Trade Networks in Eurasia,� was held at the 4-star Hotel Napoleon in the heart of Paris. It was hosted by Maximilien Urso, President of Efficio France, who diligently assured every need was met. The next conference is tentatively scheduled for April, 2011. There�s an offer to host the meeting in Budapest; other proposals will be accepted at this time. 

Those attending the Paris Conference were:

         David Wallach, President of International Reciprocal Trade Association, San Francisco, CA, USA

         Dr. M. Sirri Simsek, President of Turk Barter, Istanbul, Turkey and Chairman of the Assembly

         Dr. Lee Oi Kum, President of BarterXchange, Singapore, and member of IRTA Global Board of Directors

         Taha Mehli Arvas, Turk Barter, Istanbul, Turkey

         Maximilien Urso, President of Efficio France and member of IRTA Global Board of Directors

         David Selikowitz, President of Active International (Europe), Paris, France

         Alejandro (Alex) Canino, Vice President-Communications of Argent Trading, Madrid, Spain

         Muriel Blais-Ballayer, Director of Development of Argent Trading, Paris, France

         Walther Smets, President of RES, Brussels, Belgium and Paris, France

         Bob Bagga, President of BizXchange, Dubai, UAE and Seattle, WA, USA

         Alina Piddubna, Managing Director of Bartex, Kiev, Ukraine

         Dorottya Szabo, President of GlobalXchange, Budapest, Hungary

         Nuno Ladeiras, CEO of RedeBarter, Lisbon, Portugal

         Guiseppe Littera, President of SARDEX, Sardinia, Italy

         Maximos (Max) Giannopoulos, President of Euro Barter Club, Athens, Greece

         Mariano Bazterrica, President of Reciproco, Madrid, Spain

         Sanjay Thakrar, Partner of Prestige Brands Holdings, London, UK

         Atul Sharma, Partner of Prestige Brands Holdings, London, UK

         Andrew Lee, CEO of BizTrade-Korea, Seoul, Korea

         Claude Lemeberger, Paris, France

         Angel Navarro, Paris, France

         Arthur Bard, Paris, France

         Gary Field, President of Nubarter, Savannah, GA, USA and member of IRTA Global Board of Directors

         Ron Whitney, Executive Director of International Reciprocal Trade Association, Portsmouth, VA, USA

         Linda Tillinger, Chief Financial Officer of Nubarter, Savannah, GA, USA

         Sally Selbman, Partner of Trade Consultants, San Francisco, CA, USA

         Paul E. Suplizio, Member of IRTA Global Board of Directors and General Secretary of the Assembly

The Assembly constitutes 32 companies � 27 from Europe and 5 from Asia. Of those, all but 7 are IRTA members. Thus IRTA-Europe has de facto (exercising power) existence as a self-governing body within the world barter federation, and will soon have de jure (by right) existence. Based on our information, there are still about 40 commercial barter companies in Europe who are neither in the Assembly nor IRTA.

Thus, much work remains to be done to unite the barter industry in Europe so the industry can speak with a single, powerful voice to the European Commission, national governments, and the public. Their promises remain firm: every trade owner will have a seat on the governing board, and a voice and vote in every decision. The Assembly may be joined without cost or precondition.

Paul Suplizio introduced Assembly Chairman Dr. Sirri Simsek by pointing to the success of Turk Barter as an example of what can be accomplished by a single, determined person. In reply, Simsek greeted the delegates warmly, urging the importance of establishing common standards that every company should meet in order to forge a common trading network, offer broader trade opportunities within Europe, and raise everyone�s trade volume as well as the confidence of business in the modern trade and barter system.

In his address �A Parallel Capital System,� IRTA President David Wallach presented a philosophy and roadmap to help the conferees realize the objective of the meeting, stressing that the raison d�etre for commercial barter is the contribution business exchanges make to jobs, production, and family well-being. With a financial crisis raging in Europe, he encouraged the conference to act now to expand their exchanges and launch new branches to help struggling European businesses cope with tight credit, limited sales, and excess capacity.

There was good spirit among the participants because the meeting site encouraged informality and intermingling during breaks and meals. All caught the excitement of the event and its significance; all departed with renewed commitment and a confident outlook on the future. Educational sessions were conducted as seminar/discussions so attendees could contribute and ask questions at any time. This format proved excellent for a group of 30, and the free flow of commentary added much to the educational value.

According to Suplizio, there has never been a conference with more outstanding presentations by speakers than this one. Gary Field, president of Nubarter, in Savannah (GA), and a member of IRTA�s Global Board of Directors held the rapt attention of delegates for five solid hours of give-and-take on recruiting, training, compensating, deploying, and managing a sales force for top performance. Linda Tillinger, also of Nubarter, presented an innovative scheme for trade exchange financial management, aimed not only at accounting for every euro of revenue but on allocating every euro of revenue to priority spending needs.

David Selikowitz, president of Active International (Europe), took command for four hours of commentary and discussion on the special techniques of corporate barter and how trade exchanges and corporate barter companies can work together. Bob Bagga, president of BizXchange-Dubai and -Seattle (WA), joined by Wallach and Simsek led discussions concerning trade floor operations, overcoming imbalances, monetary management to put average trade volume per client on a growth trajectory, and reciprocal trading to keep the trade credit balances of high-value clients moving.

Selikowitz and Wallach shared some of their techniques learned from experience in trading for media and other tradable products in common business demand, such as printing and transportation. Selikowitz gave every delegate a glimpse of how an experienced trader thinks by querying each conferee about their trade availabilities and identifying those he would consider buying. Some valuable business seems to have developed from this give and take.

IRTA Executive Director Ron Whitney, also CEO of IRTA�s Universal Currency Clearinghouse (that books trades in euros as easily as in dollars and is owned by IRTA members), enlightened delegates on the intricacies of credit extension to exchange clients, and presented a matrix of criteria for evaluating the size of credit-line for a business. Each delegate received a fine collection of background papers Ron had prepared on techniques of credit extension and credit management.

Also issued to each delegate, as promised in an earlier message announcing the conference, was a large collection of news clips and other documents that reinforced the discussion topics of the conference agenda.

Suplizio noted that the Business Meeting was a good example of democratic self-governance, with the delegates taking charge, speaking up, presenting motions, discussing and voting. Everyone contributed in a lively session that produced important results. The meeting bore out the soundness of guaranteeing every exchange owner in Eurasia a seat on the Governing Board, with a voice and vote in every decision and action of the body.

Suplizio asserted, �A trade owner�s engagement in the industry association�s work is inspired not only by one�s own sense of responsibility, but by the opportunity to participate in important decisions as an equal with other trade owners, and the ability to make a difference. This system guarantees that no faction can take charge and make decisions for owners, or their industry, without consulting them and their peers.�

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