Lord Marland has told an International Trade Committee session of the UK Parliament that Commonwealth trading opportunities remain a ‘neglected jewel’, especially from a UK perspective.
Speaking in response to a question from Liam Byrne MP, Lord Marland stated that ‘huge markets’ such as Nigeria, Canada and New Zealand presented relatively easy opportunities for businesses with an enterprising and international mentality.
In the meantime, a policy paper from the Free Enterprise Group has been released to articulate the potential for further free trade agreements between Commonwealth countries, particularly as Britain exits the European Union.
Given that the UK is the largest EU goods export destination for numerous Commonwealth countries – including Australia, Canada, India, New Zealand, South Africa, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and Jamaica – the post BREXIT opportunities are clearly significant.
For the network as a whole, the inaugural Commonwealth Trade Ministers Meeting – to be hosted by the Commonwealth Enterprise and Investment Council in London on 9th-10th March 2017 – represents a huge opportunity for member countries to make further progress in fulfilling the Commonwealth’s untapped trade and investment potential.
With over 30 Ministers due to attend alongside a host of private sector business leaders, the Meeting is set to be a momentous occasion in the lead-up to 2018’s Heads of Government Meeting and Commonwealth Business Forum.