Trade officials have concluded a meeting in London, where they created a roadmap to fully leverage the Commonwealth Connectivity Agenda (CCA) to boost trade benefits for 2.4 billion people.
This was the first meeting where the convenors of special groups were brought together. The trade officials lead five action-oriented areas, known as clusters, and two caucuses of connectivity. The clusters are:
In his address to officials, Deputy Secretary-General Arjoon Suddhoo said: “Over the year, officials have worked with the private sector, particularly micro, small and medium-sized enterprises, to understand the existing policy successes and failures, as well as identifying policy gaps to confront the challenges of the fourth Industrial Revolution [technology-driven change to create an inclusive, human-centred future], feeding the future and the regulatory ecosystem for trade.
“The clusters have provided a more practical understanding of how the best performing member countries have achieved successes and what else they need to do to fully realise their development objectives.”
During the meeting, the officials examined the state of play of each cluster and engaged on the three pillars of the agenda:
Their deliberations mark an important milestone in the path to the Commonwealth Trade Ministers Meeting 2019 (CTMM), which takes place from 7-10 October. Officials will meet again in August for Commonwealth Connectivity Week where they will finalise the deliverables for the consideration of trade ministers.
At CTMM, ministers will reflect on the deliverables and explore ways to overcome trade challenges through mutual cooperation and knowledge sharing. Their communique will set an action plan for Commonwealth heads of government when they meet in Rwanda for their Summit in June 2020.
In the lead up to this meeting, the regulatory connectivity cluster met on 15-16 May in London where member countries agreed to use good regulatory practices to boost intra-Commonwealth trade.
Click here to read a report of that meeting.