Senior Trade Officials meet ahead of Commonwealth Trade Ministers Meeting

02 June 2023

Today, Senior Trade Officials from across the Commonwealth gathered to prepare for the upcoming 2023 Commonwealth Trade Ministers Meeting (CTMM), which shall take place next week in London on June 5th and 6th.

Today’s deliberations aimed to set the agenda and key issues that will shape the discussions at the CTMM.

In her opening remarks, the Commonwealth Secretary-General welcomed officials and said:

“One of the Commonwealth’s greatest strengths is our ability to face common challenges, and pursue our common goals, by working together we can achieve the greatest impact by advancing and safeguarding our shared future through cooperation and collective action. There is no question that harnessing and enhancing the Commonwealth’s Trade Advantage must be at the heart of our work.”

The agenda included several important items for discussion. Firstly, the senior trade officials reviewed and reflected on the outcomes of their previous virtual meeting held in January 2023. This allowed them to assess progress made and identify any further actions required.

The officials also dedicated a significant portion of the meeting to discussing the multilateral trading system. They received a report from the Geneva Caucus and engaged in discussions on how the Commonwealth can contribute effectively to strengthening the system. With the World Trade Organization's 13th Ministerial Conference scheduled for February 2024, the officials aimed to develop practical strategies to enhance the Commonwealth's role in promoting fair and inclusive global trade.

Deepening Commonwealth Trade and Investment

Officials also focused on strategies for deepening Commonwealth trade and investment. The senior trade officials received a presentation on the Secretariat's projects related to international trade policy, trade competitiveness, and the Commonwealth Connectivity Agenda Action Plan. They offered guidance and endorsement while exploring practical ways to boost intra-Commonwealth trade and investment.

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Inclusive and Sustainable trade

The meeting also placed a strong emphasis on inclusive and sustainable trade focussing on how the Commonwealth can leverage trade and trade policy to address the climate crisis; and secondly on enabling an inclusive digital transition.

The Senior Trade Officials Meeting concluded with a collective commitment to fostering enhanced trade cooperation and promoting sustainable economic growth among Commonwealth countries. The outcomes of this meeting will inform and shape the discussions and decisions at the Commonwealth Trade Ministers Meeting, which holds the potential to chart a path towards inclusive and prosperous trade relations within the Commonwealth.

Media contact

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