UK Meets Commonwealth Trade Ministers

Alan Kyeremanten – Trade Minister

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.

The Commonwealth
Trade Ministers Meeting will take place on 10th October, following three days
of discussions among senior trade officials from 7th to 9th October.

Chaired by the
United Kingdom, the focus will be on strengthening multilateral trade, fighting
protectionism and progressing efforts to achieve $2 trillion worth of trade
within the Commonwealth by 2030.

According to Secretary-General
Patricia Scotland, “Our Commonwealth approach recognises that all are able to
give and all are able to gain by coming together in our rich economic, cultural
and geographical diversity we learn much from one another and are able to
accelerate inclusive and more sustainable progress for all. Amid global
uncertainties, the Commonwealth remains a champion for transparent, inclusive,
fair and open rules-based trade.”

The UK Secretary
of State for International Trade, Elizabeth Truss, said, “The 53-member states
in the Commonwealth boast of a combined population of over 2.4 billion people
and intra-Commonwealth trade is projected to reach $700 billion by next year.

“The global
outlook on trade is changing rapidly and we face the ever-present challenge of
a rise in protectionist tendencies. Together the Commonwealth member countries
can help to fight against protectionism and promote a transparent, inclusive,
fair and open rules-based multilateral trading system.

“Next week’s
trade ministers meeting in London will help build on the progress made at the
Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting last year as we seek to take advantage
of new opportunities with some of our oldest friends.”

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 review
the 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
Secretary-General added, “We see intra-Commonwealth trade expanding too, and by
working together we can agree and implement policy options so that within the
next decade it reaches the $2 trillion goal set by our heads of government at
CHOGM 2018.”

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.

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