Sharing the findings of a major new Commonwealth trade report with delegates at the Business Forum, Commonwealth Deputy Secretary-General Deodat Maharaj highlighted the Commonwealth’s business advantage.
“Looking ahead, we need to leverage the enormous potential in the Commonwealth,” said Mr Maharaj, opening the session.
Delegates from the public and private sectors attended a session this morning in the Business Forum, which takes place in the run-up to the Commonwealth summit, on the findings of a new report, The Commonwealth in the Unfolding Global Trade Landscape.
The report provides a comprehensive analysis of Commonwealth trade challenges and prospects, and demonstrates that trade between member countries is more cost-effective and productive than trade between other partners.
“What the trade publication shows is that we are adding global value in trade. Trading in the Commonwealth is 19% more cost-effective than trading outside,” said Mr Maharaj.
Speaking on the panel, Dr Christopher Cardona, Minister for the Economy, Investment and Small Business in Malta, recommended greater involvement of the private sector and a focus on the transfer of technology, collaboration in research and cooperation in renewable energy as ways of bringing tangible benefits to Commonwealth countries.
“The only way we can make the Commonwealth more relevant is to get more business people involved…We should ask how can we bring all these ingredients together for mutual benefit,” said Dr Cardona.
Presenting the report’s findings, its author, Mohammad Razzaque, Commonwealth Acting Director of Trade set out priorities to promote intra-Commonwealth trade, including making global value chain more inclusive and addressing implementation gaps in trade strategies and agreements.
“Intra-Commonwealth trade is broad-based. Thirty-one member countries are small states, and although their contribution is small, we have found that they are more reliant on Commonwealth trade…The challenge is to enhance the effective participation of all Commonwealth countries in global trade,” said Mr Razzaque.
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— The Commonwealth (@commonwealthsec) November 23, 2015
— The Commonwealth (@commonwealthsec) November 24, 2015
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