Origin – The Need for Efficient and Secure Trade
GCEL was born out of the need to resolve growing trade inefficiencies within the Global Logistics Industry (GLI) that have accumulated after years of globalization spawned by the advent of trade containerization. The growing fragmentation between global trading parties contributed to higher landed import-export costs (LIEC) for all nations. However, this has especially hindered the mid and low income countries, where LIEC is around three to four times that of the high income countries, thereby nullifying the labor cost advantage of the mid and low income countries, and preventing foreign direct investment to those countries.
A Call to Action – the Secure Cargo Anti-Terrorism Coalition
Following the tragic events of 9/11 and in response to the urgent need for efficient and secure trade, Axiolog, a Michigan-based USA company, founded the Secure Cargo Anti-Terrorism Coalition (SCAC) in 2003. SCAC’s primary objective was to demonstrate the ability to achieve new levels of trade efficiency and security through the deployment of advanced open source information technology, which has led to the formulation of the Multi-Dimensional Digital Economy Application System (MDDEAS). This advanced technology was successfully “Proven in Practice” by SCAC over one of the world’s busiest border crossings, handling more than USD 110 billion in annual shipments between Ontario, Canada and Michigan, USA.
The response to the successful results was overwhelmingly positive, leading to favorable endorsements from a broad range of public and private sector leaders worldwide. Following Captain Salloum’s expert testimony to a U.S. Congressional Select Committee on Homeland Security, the principal tenets of the technology influenced 7 out of 10 elements included within Presidential Directives – National Security Presidential Directive (NSPD) #41 and Homeland Security Presidential Directive (HSPD) #13.
The Formation of GCEL
While the SCAC results were favorably received, they highlighted a basic dilemma:
Who will provide the solution to effect efficient and secure trade, thereby stimulating economic development and achieving the objectives of high-, mid- and low-income countries?
Governments and large private organizations are generally expected to provide solutions to our problems. While governments are responsible for resolving problems faced by their countries, they are not solution-providers in the marketplace. Large technology-solution providers cannot be allowed to provide a global solution because of geo-political concerns, as well as their inability to ensure rapid global deployment and concerns regarding monopolistic power over an industry so vital to every country.
In addition, since shipments cross multiple countries, it is necessary to realize that a truly global solution cannot be tailored to an organization, country or region – it must be comprehensive and uniform. Only a truly global PPP can resolve the issues affecting global trade.
With that understanding, GCEL was created as a PPP in 2005 by government and private-sector leaders, representing the interests of the manufacturing, agriculture and material-handling industries. After rapidly expanding international recognition, GCEL was legally established in Switzerland in 2006.
Over the subsequent years GCEL further broadened its PPP; members and supporters now include pan-regional organizations that represent more than 150 countries, 26 NGOs and IGOs, and the world’s most prominent service-industry firms, all of which are committed to empowering the Digital Economy to grow the real economy.
GCEL is organized under the laws of Switzerland with regional headquarters in Asia, MEA, Europe and the Americas.