The Commonwealth Business Forum, which brings together senior government and business leaders, received its London launch this week at the headquarters of the Commonwealth.
The Business Forum, taking place in Malta between 24 and 26 November 2015, is organised by the Commonwealth Enterprise and Investment Council (CWEIC) and the Government of Malta. It serves as a platform for countries to showcase investment opportunities and is an opportunity to influence the global debate on trade.
The launch at Marlborough House, hosted by Commonwealth Secretary-General Kamalesh Sharma and the Commonwealth Secretariat, follows the official announcement of the Forum in Malta earlier this month.
Prime Minister of Malta Joseph Muscat, speaking at the London launch, said that he was confident that the Commonwealth Business Forum (CBF) would live up to its objective to deliver stronger partnerships between governments and businesses. "The Commonwealth needs to work together to establish a global environment in which business can flourish,” he said.
“This means tackling issues concerning international peace and security head on, ensuring financial stability and free and fair trade, and making real progress in protecting our oceans and natural environment. These are all areas in which the Commonwealth can add real value if it pulls together.”
Prime Minister Muscat and Secretary General Sharma were joined by CWEIC Chairperson Lord Jonathan Marland, Malta's Minister for the Economy, Investment and Small Business Chris Cardona, and Minister for Finance Professor Edward Scicluna. Also in attendance were Mrs Phyllis Muscat, Chair of the CHOGM 2015 Taskforce and Adrian Hillman, Chairman of the CBF 2015 Organising Committee.
Secretary General Sharma said: “We appreciate the priority being given to the Commonwealth Business Forum by Prime Minister Muscat and his Government, and by the business community of Malta. All four Forums associated with the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting are outstanding examples of the convening power of the Commonwealth. This is particularly true of the Business Forum. The Commonwealth is open for business, and it is open to business.”
Lord Marland said: “The Business Forum will focus on issues and areas that are relevant to all our countries including financial services, technology infrastructure, tourism, healthcare and sustainability. CBF in Malta will provide an extraordinary opportunity for businesses from across the Commonwealth to meet their peers from the private sector and senior Government representatives from around the world.”
The Business Forum is one of four stakeholder Forums organised immediately prior to the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Malta in late November 2015. These include a People's Forum, Youth Forum and Women's Forum. The Business Forum was first held at the Edinburgh Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in 1997.