All set for Commonwealth trade ministers indaba


By Richard Chirombo In Brighton, The Uk:

Trade ministers from 53 Commonwealth countries including Malawi, are set to meet in London, the United Kingdom (UK), on Thursday, to explore strategies for deepening trade and investment.

Also on the agenda are strategies that would help member countries supporting a transparent, inclusive, fair, and open rules-based global trading system, according to a Commonwealth Secretariat statement released on Friday.


The trade ministers’ meeting will come after three days of discussions, which the UK Government officials will chair, from October 7 to 9, the focus being on strengthening multilateral trade, fighting protectionism and progressing efforts to achieve $2 trillion worth of trade within the Commonwealth by 2030.

Commonwealth Secretary General, Patricia Scotland, has, meanwhile, expressed optimism that the grouping can facilitate sustainable progress for stakeholders.

“Our Commonwealth Trade Ministers Meeting is a tremendously valuable opportunity to consider issues of pressing concern in an atmosphere of trust and goodwill, and to agree on action that needs to be taken by our member nations collectively and individually,” she says in the statement.


UK Secretary of State for International Trade, Elizabeth Truss, concurs with her, saying collaboration among Commonwealth members is key to boosting global trade.

Truss cites the combined population of over 2.4 billion people that the Commonwealth boasts.

Intra-Commonwealth trade is projected to reach $700 billion by next year.

Apart from reflecting on challenges facing the world, ministers will also reflect on how to make trade more inclusive and sustainable, by engaging more women and youth at all levels, as well as developing the blue and green economy.

They will also review progress made under the Commonwealth Connectivity Agenda – an initiative launched by heads of government last year to support economic growth, job creation and the sharing of best practices and learning among members.

This includes moves to harness the digital revolution in Commonwealth economies and create an enabling environment for the private sector to tap into global trade, especially micro, small and medium enterprises.

The outcomes of the meeting will shape trade-related discussions at the next Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting scheduled for June 2020 in Kigali, Rwanda.

The Commonwealth is a voluntary association of 53 independent and equal sovereign states bound by shared values and principles inscribed in the Commonwealth Charter. Member countries are supported by a network of more than 80 intergovernmental, civil society, cultural and professional organisations.

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