Commonwealth can be a leader in global trade and prosperity, says International Trade Secretary

The Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting will redefine trading relationships and help unlock economic growth and prosperity across the Commonwealth, International Trade Secretary Liam Fox has said.

Speaking at a reception of Commonwealth Trade Ministers, in the margins of the World Trade Organisation Ministerial Conference in Argentina, Dr Fox reaffirmed the UK’s support for tackling trade barriers to ensure all Commonwealth countries can have a more prosperous future.

The International Trade Secretary said: “Next year’s Heads of Government Meeting in London is our chance to showcase the Commonwealth’s ability to lead the response to global economic challenges, influencing global trade policy and setting an ambitious pace for the delivery of multilateral agreements.

“We have the opportunity to strengthen our Commonwealth partnerships, and usher in a new era where expertise, talent, goods, and capital can move unhindered between our nations in a way that they have not for a generation or more. I believe that the Commonwealth has the potential, and the responsibility, to take a leading role in the defence of global commercial freedoms.”

Commonwealth member countries have already identified trade liberalisation as one of the top priorities for next year’s Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, which will take place during the week of 16 April in London and Windsor.

Intra-Commonwealth trade is currently estimated at $687 billion, and a “Commonwealth advantage” means that trading costs between Commonwealth partners are on average 19 percentage points lower compared with those in other country pairs.

The summit next year will see leaders come together to discuss the trade and investment potential across the Commonwealth.