Commonwealth Trade ministers pledge to harness 'Commonwealth advantage' to boost trade

Elias Hubbard
March 18, 2017

"A number of countries have come to us as a result of their concern in relation to the impact that Brexit might have on their economic position", Commonwealth Secretary-General Patricia Scotland said afterwards. Many more countries represented here today are also experiencing rapid economic development. We all know that we've been living in troubled and troubling times and we will have to look very carefully together at what advantages there are within our family.

The trade ministers' meeting heard how business between Commonwealth members stands at around £600 billion ($730 billion, 684 billion euros), equivalent to 15 percent of global trade even though member states account for a third of the global population.

"That. advantage is something which we as a Commonwealth are absolutely determined to exploit and to grow, and at this meeting today we were able to have a comprehensive opportunity to consider how in practice we do that".

Ahead of the celebrations, the body held its first trade ministers' meeting since 2005, with more than 35 gathering in London. "We must see how the global trade landscape can be changed in favour of that advantage and the particular factors that drive and differentiate intra-Commonwealth trade and investment be improved".

"Especially the "Agenda for Growth" idea to promote trade, investment and job creation in member countries such as Sri Lanka shall help our unity government's reform vision of industry and commerce". They identified key challenges hindering trade competitiveness and discussed how to overcome them through mutual support.

"This represents not only a great opportunity for their citizens to share in the proceeds of global prosperity, but it represents tremendous opportunities to importers and exporters from across the whole Commonwealth, a genuinely win-win situation".

"Against a backdrop of global economic uncertainty and a slowdown in worldwide growth, the Commonwealth is now assisting more than 30 countries on their effective integration into the global trading system".

Alpuche also met with several influential members of the UK parliament and lobbied for trade opportunities between Belize and the United Kingdom after it leaves the European Union - a departure that has been dubbed "Brexit".

"There is an opportunity for the Commonwealth to demonstrate global leadership on free and fair trade".

On March 9, Trade Ministers and Representatives participated in several roundtable discussions, including Financial Services, Ease of Doing Business, Technology and Innovation, Business and Sustainability, Creating and Export Economy, and Attracting Investment.

"This will allow companies, particularly Small and Medium Enterprises, to have the confidence to trade and invest across the Commonwealth. It was essential to have the private sector fully engaged in the trade ministers meeting".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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