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  • Resolving maritime boundaries

    Barbados and St Vincent and the Grenadines reach a landmark agreement that settles the maritime boundary between their two territories.

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Small states

Small states are sovereign countries with a population of 1.5 million people or fewer. There are 30 small states in the Commonwealth.

As members of the Commonwealth, small states have an equal voice. It enables them to take part in international decision-making on issues that affect them, such as climate change.

With limited resources, small states face many challenges, including:

  • dependence on a narrow range of exports
  • high transportation costs due to insularity and remoteness
  • dependence on strategic imports such as food and fuel
  • susceptibility to natural disasters and environmental change 
  • decline in global trade and investment
  • lack of readily available information for investors and trading partners
  • limited capacity to harness growth opportunities. 

Some larger countries - Botswana, Jamaica, Lesotho, Namibia and Papua New Guinea - are classified as small states as they share similar characteristics.

Spotlight on Geneva: Small states trade project ‘vital for recovery and economic development’

Ambassadors of Commonwealth countries in Geneva say the Secretariat’s Small States Office gives them a voice on the world stage. 

Commonwealth helps Grenada position its economy for increased trade

A new National Export Strategy (NES) will see the Caribbean state diversify and increase imports and exports between now and 2021

Deep sea mining: regulating an emerging industry

Deep beneath the ocean, the seabed holds rich deposits of minerals: gold, silver, cobalt, copper, nickel, zinc, as well as lesser known chemical elements like tellurium - used to make solar panels.

Maritime treaty success for Barbados, St Lucia and St Vincent and the Grenadines

Landmark maritime boundary agreements reached between the Caribbean island nations of Barbados, Saint Lucia and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines with the support of the Commonwealth, were formally signed last week.