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Deputy Secretary-General calls for greater trade collaboration

26 September 2017

Deputy Secretary-General Josephine Ojiambo has called for increased collaboration between Commonwealth members to increase trade and investment.

She was speaking as she opened the first meeting of the Commonwealth Working Group on Trade and Investment (WGTI), where more than 60 officials from across 52 Commonwealth nations are meeting at Marlborough House, the Commonwealth’s headquarters in London.

The Deputy Secretary-General welcomed delegates by saying: “Our task over the next three days is an important one. At a time of profound change in the global trading environment, including a persistent slowdown in world trade growth, we see considerable potential to deepen trade and investment cooperation amongst our members.”

The outcomes of the working group will feed into deliberations for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in London next April.

She added: “The Commonwealth gains its strength through the diversity of its membership which includes small and vulnerable economies, large developing countries and advanced developed nations. In this context, it is important to build strong partnerships.

“This is an important opportunity to discuss and propose practical and pragmatic ways to redouble our efforts in deepening inclusive and sustainable trade and investment among our members. The nature of global trade has been radically transformed in recent years by the globalisation process and technological advancements.

“Based on the Commonwealth Secretariat’s own research, it is our view that collaborating along a connectivity agenda could provide one appropriate organising framework for our future actions and programmes. For this reason, we are proposing an agenda focusing on physical, digital, regulatory, business to business and supply side connectivity.”