Intra-Commonwealth trade is expected to increase by US$6.5 trillion over the next five years from the current US$13 trillion as the group seeks to strengthen both trade and investment ties between the 54 member countries.
Figures from the Commonwealth Secretariat show that trade costs within the Commonwealth are on average 21 percent lower, while investment flows are 27 percent higher than between other pairs of countries.
The combined GDP of the Commonwealth countries is now about US$13 trillion and is projected to reach US$19.5 trillion in 2027. The population of the Commonwealth is over 2.4 billion.
“At the core of our mission is trade – the lifeblood of economic activity and the arteries of economic relations between our Commonwealth member countries. The Commonwealth Advantage…” said Baroness Patricia Scotland, the Secretary-General of the Commonwealth, during the opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Business Forum 2022 (CBF 2022) in Kigali on Tuesday.
She added that it represents the ambitions of the Commonwealth are to facilitate trade within countries.
Speaking at the forum, Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame urged business leaders to invest in inclusive growth that provides common opportunities for Commonwealth members.
“There is already an understanding that we have to work for a common future. We must work for a common future. We have to work towards that and make sure we get it. It is work in progress and we are moving towards it and I am optimistic,” said President Kagame.
“We must ensure that no one is left behind – like small and developing countries – and encourage everyone to move there and fulfill that commitment to the ‘community’ we aspire to in this family of nations.”
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CBF 2022 will address the CHOGM theme “Creating a Shared Future: Connect, Innovate, Transform” with a focus on “A Global Reset” that addresses the impact of the pandemic and the Commonwealth’s role in rebuilding and revitalizing the global economy.
During the three-day forum, participants will discuss issues such as financing future growth, trade and regional integration, sustainability, inclusive and resilient lives Discuss resource systems and the future of work.
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