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Intra-Commonwealth trade, investment to exceed $1.5 trillion, says report

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The Intra-Commonwealth trade and productive greenfield investment is expected to reach $1.6 trillion by 2020, in spite of the global trade slowdown caused by the 2008 financial crisis.

This rising share of intra-Commonwealth trade and investment underscored the growing significance of Commonwealth markets for member-countries, according to a new report issued by Communications Officer, Commonwealth Secretariat, Niall Jeger.

According to News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), the Commonwealth Trade Review 2018 said proactive policy measures, such as improving trade facilitation or tackling non-tariff barriers, could trigger even greater gains for member-countries.

In 2017, cumulative intra-Commonwealth greenfield foreign direct investment was estimated at $700 billion, creating 1.4 million jobs through 10,000 projects.

The secretariat projects intra-Commonwealth greenfield investment – when a parent company establishes its operations in a foreign country – could reach $870 billion by 2020.

Trade among Commonwealth countries grew to just under $600 billion in 2016 and is expected to increase by at least 17 per cent to around $700 billion by 2020.

Together, intra-Commonwealth trade and greenfield investment is expected to surpass $1.5 trillion, Commonwealth said.

Meanwhile, Commonwealth Secretary-General, Patricia Scotland, said: “This is a remarkable indication of the power of Commonwealth connection and of the benefits that accrue to member-countries as a result of Commonwealth advantage.”

This, she said, was significant with world trade only now emerging from the unprecedented slowdown triggered by the financial crisis a decade ago.

The review found that Commonwealth countries, overall, were less-protectionist and tended to apply fewer harmful measures against fellow member-countries.

The research also explored how Commonwealth members can harness new technologies, especially digitisation, to strengthen their domestic trade governance, further reducing costs and fostering new trade and investment.

Scotland said: “Our trade review shows that economic and governance ties in the Commonwealth provide ready and robust foundation fabric.


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