Dr Alex Zarifis
There has been rapid development in Cross-Border E-Commerce (CBEC) in recent years, and it is strengthening the global economy. However, compared to other trade mechanisms, the mechanism of CBEC is more complex. It appears that staff with special talents are needed to start a business trading across borders. Research has presented some solutions for the challenges of cross-border e-commerce from the perspective of the enterprise. However, not enough is known about the cross-border e-commerce talents requirements, and how to train people to develop them.

Requirements of CBEC talents
We found four core the requirements of Cross-Border E-Commerce talents (Cheng et al., 2019): (1) Firstly, having business and marketing knowledge is critical to Cross-Border E-Commerce talents. Both theoretical and practical knowledge are important components in business and marketing knowledge. (2) Secondly, technical skills for trading online is necessary. For example, dealing with all the problems in the process of online trading is important. (3) Thirdly, it’s common to handle difficult situations when business across borders, hence analytical ability is needed for them to solve these problems. (4) Last but not least, all these skills we mentioned are not independent of having practical ability in business, which is the core the requirement.
In summary, business and marketing knowledge, technical skills, analytical ability and practical ability in business were found to be the four core requirements of CBEC talents.

Figure 1. Training model for people working in cross-border e-commerce

Training model for CBEC talents
After finding the four core requirements, we analyzed several teaching methods. We then chose Problem-Based Learning (PBL), which typically involves learning based on solving real problems. We applied WeChat in the training model, so the real work environment is replicated more closely. Writing a business plan was also applied in the training model as the way of practicing practical skills. The problem oriented training model encourages discussions and learning new knowledge. By successfully applying the model in teaching, this research provides a new direction to cultivate the CBEC talents.

Reference
Cheng X., Su L. & Zarifis A. (2019) ‘Designing a talents training model for cross-border e-commerce: A mixed approach of problem-based learning with social media’, Electronic Commerce Research, vol.19, iss.4, pp.801-822. Available from: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10660-019-09341-y

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