Addressing the connectivity challenge of small economies

Event date: 27 July 2022, 14:15 - 15:30 BST

Organised by the Commonwealth Small States Office in Geneva, the session will focus on pragmatic ways to address the connectivity constraints limiting the participation of small economies in global trade. This aligns most closely with the Global Review’s theme of “connectivity and empowerment”.

Small economies face inherent economic disadvantages stemming from the limited size of their domestic markets, narrow production and resource bases, low levels of diversification and lack of scope to attain economies of scale. Many are also hamstrung by geographic factors and high transport costs, especially those that are islands or landlocked. These disadvantages are often exacerbated by high levels of exposure to natural disasters and the effects of climate change.  

Trade can help overcome these challenges and drive economic growth and transformation. Yet, small economies tend to be less integrated into regional and global value chains and many only play a peripheral role in global trade. They are often marginalised due to their limited connectivity to regional and global production and trade networks.    

This session will explore pragmatic solutions to address the trade connectivity challenges faced by small economies, focusing on how digital technologies can aid their integration into the global trading system. It will highlight ways to assist small economies to implement trade-facilitating technologies that lower transaction costs and boost the efficiency of critical trade-related infrastructure. It will also identify ways to support businesses operating in small economies to harness new and emerging technologies to overcome limitations related to size and geography, expand market access and compete effectively in international trade.  

Opening Remarks

  • Colin Murdoch, Permanent Delegation of the OECS to the United Nations Office and other international organisations, Geneva,


  • Colin Murdoch, Permanent Delegation of the OECS to the United Nations Office and other international organisations, Geneva,


  • Stephen Fevrier, Senior Adviser to the Director-General of the World Trade Organization
  • Robin Koepke, Economist, International Monetary Fund
  • Simon J Manley, Ambassador and Permanent Representative, United Kingdom, Mission to the UN and WTO
  • Raj Mohabeer, Chargé de mission, Indian Ocean Commission

Media contact

  • Rena Gashumba  Communications Adviser, Communications Division, Commonwealth Secretariat
  • T: +44 7483 919 968  |  E-mail