HFAA alumni Mai Nguyen (Vietnam, HKBU MAIJS ’11) and Genin Koh (Singapore, NUS MBA ’19) participated in the Managing Cross-Border Trade in an Uncertain World workshop held October 7-9, 2019 organized by the Hinrich Foundation and National University of Singapore.

“I am delighted to participate in one of the most comprehensive trade-related workshops I have ever attended,” Mai said. “I highly recommend the next one to any working professionals whose work is heavily involved in cross-border trade.”

Mai completed her master’s degree in International Journalism Studies at Hong Kong Baptist University in 2011. She currently works with Austrade as a Marketing & Research Manager.

HF alumni Mai Nguyen, Genin Koh join NUS global trade workshop 1

Mai (Vietnam, HKBU MAIJS ’11), left, is Marketing & Research Manager at AUSTRADE. Genin (Singapore, NUS MBA ’19), right, is Strategy & Operations Manager at a tech SaaS startup.

Genin said: “It was an honor to learn from and network with outstanding professionals from government trade ministries, industry leaders from Google, DHL, Siemens, VF, DBS Bank among others, and media partners such as the Singapore Straits Times.” She recently completed her MBA at the National University of Singapore. She is now responsible for a tech SaaS startup’s brand and operations across the region.

Key takeaways

Mai and Genin share their key takeaways from the three-day intensive workshop.

1. The difference between “supply chain” and “value chain”

We tend to see the world as mere “supply chains” but the main perspective we should adopt is a “global value chain ecosystem” where the product is given a value-add along the chain from the provider to the end-consumer (a combination of intangible inputs and material inputs).

2. Types of non-tariff barriers

We learned that non-tariff measures are more expensive than tariff measures. The cost of complying with regulations and connecting government agencies (which can be a 4- to 5-stage sign-off process) or anything that concerns licensing and transparency adds cost on a trade in terms of price and time.

3. 5Ts in trade but there is a 6th one

Transparency, Truth, Trust, Technology and Talent are the five T’s of trade but there is another T related to transparency – that is Traceability. This is the ability to trace the history, application or location of an object in a supply chain.

HF alumni Mai Nguyen, Genin Koh join NUS global trade workshop 2

Business executives, government leaders and trade experts from a wide range of industries attended the event. In the photo are Merle Hinrich (seated, second from left) and the HF Management Team.

The workshop also allowed Genin to make new and useful contacts for her work as Strategy & Operations Manager.  She connected with DHL 360, which could be a potential partner on empowering SMEs to identify risks associated with their global value chain, and to explore potential product integration with her company.

“I am really grateful to attend this workshop as an HF scholar alumna,” Genin said.