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Creating better trade opportunities

Fundamental changes are taking place in the technologies and rules that underpin global trade in goods and services. This presents the Commonwealth’s diverse countries with challenges, but also opens up opportunities to expand trade and investment between members and with the rest of the world.

Trade competitiveness

Commonwealth experts help member countries improve their global trade competitiveness. Many Commonwealth countries only have a limited domestic market, so we focus on developing their export capabilities.


There are 18 on-going country projects in: Barbados, Belize, Botswana, Brunei, Cameroon, Grenada, the Gambia, Jamaica, Kenya, Malawi, Lesotho, Seychelles and  Sri Lanka. There are also 3 regional projects in The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and The East African Community (EAC).

The Small States Trade Finance Facility

This Commonwealth-led fund helps small countries import goods at competitive prices. The fund will guarantee loans made by loan providers like local banks, to encourage them to loan money to small and medium businesses.

Recent publications

International trade policy

The Commonwealth carries out research into trade policy to promote the trade and development interests of our members, especially small states and the least-developed countries.

We bring countries together to discuss and agree on new global trade issues. This helps Commonwealth countries be better prepared for bilateral and multilateral trade talks.

Publications from our digital iLibrary

Hub and Spokes Program

The Hub and Spokes program is an innovative initiative that sends trade advisors to government ministries and economic organisations to help boost trade in the Africa, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) group of countries.

Local trade advisers (the ‘spokes’) are sent to help national government trade ministries. Regional trade advisers (the ‘hubs’) are sent to help to major regional organisations.

Trade Competitiveness Policy Briefs


US$345 billion loss in trade for Commonwealth countries due to pandemic Commonwealth Trade Review

Commonwealth countries are estimated to have lost up to US$345 billion worth of trade in 2020, including $60 billion in intra-Commonwealth trade, according to 2021 Commonwealth Trade Review on “Energising Commonwealth Trade in a Digital World: Paths to Recovery Post-COVID”.

We must leverage the ‘Commonwealth Advantage’ to counter the economic fallout of COVID-19 Global transport

The world is bracing for a massive hit to the global economy in the wake of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Major Commonwealth study on international commercial arbitration offers trade-boosting solutions Panel member speaking at British Institute of International and Comparative Law

Implementation of international commercial arbitration mechanisms could significantly strengthen and increase trade in the Commonwealth.

Reform WTO and resist protectionism, say Commonwealth trade ministers

Trade ministers from across the Commonwealth today made a commitment to resist all forms of protectionism, and to work urgently together towards reforming the World Trade Organisation, which sets the global rules for international trade.

Commonwealth trade ministers to convene in London amid global uncertainties Trade ministers sitting around table

Trade ministers and senior officials from 53 Commonwealth countries will gather in London to explore strategies for deepening trade and investment, while supporting a transparent, inclusive, fair, and open rules-based global trading system.

Consultations to shape new export strategy for Malawi Delegate speaking at workshop in Malawi

Consultations opened today in Lilongwe, Malawi on the design of a new strategy to boost the country’s exports in regional and international markets.