David Noble, Global CEO, CIPS comments on the Prime Minster's speech at the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) in London.
"At CIPS we are supportive of global free trade, so I am encouraged to hear this is one of the foundations on which EU negotiations will be held. But the idea of free trade has been politicised and negated.
Perhaps we should be focussing more on the professionalisation of trade with more transparency and understanding around the risks inherent in global supply chains, and the benefits. The CIPS Risk Index has highlighted a loss of appetite around globalisation where citizens in lower income brackets feel cheated out of job opportunities and the financial rewards that thriving economies and free trade bring, and that clearly needs to be addressed.
Because a more protectionist approach to trade around the world will threaten the health of supply chains and that will impact on us all. For the UK to become a global champion of free trade, this is an opportunity for procurement and supply management to lead and advise.
The Government needs strong negotiators and that’s right in our space, and we should do all we can in not only keeping a close watch, but offering help to make an uncertain world, more stable. For example, CIPS leading the way in corporate governance and creating a new standard that procurement teams can use to assess levels of supply chain risk and build resilience in to their sourcing and contract management processes.
Mrs May refers to the US approach for government procurement. Having a dedicated office advising and providing an overall direction for government procurement and supporting SMEs makes sense. This office has a high level of support, as the administrator is appointed by the President, so there is a mandate and a commitment to become more efficient and effective and trust the value procurement brings .
Many of today’s global conglomerates started as small businesses that need the lifeblood of financing and in turn offer innovative and creative solutions that benefit us all. It’s an ambition for both, I would like to see realised."