Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting 2022 took place on 20-25 June 2022, in Kigali, Rwanda. The Commonwealth leaders travelled to Rwanda to reaffirm their common values and agree on actions and policies to improve the lives of all their citizens. Decisions are taken at CHOGM to guide the work programme of the Commonwealth Secretariat.
The Commonwealth is one of the world’s oldest political associations of states that were governed directly or indirectly by Britain. It comprises 53 independent countries from Africa, the Americas, Asia, Europe and the Pacific.
The PCF Board attend the CHOGM purposely to see how the trade competitiveness section supports member countries in expanding their trade through:
- Improving access to finance: Commonwealth helps countries to access finance for MSMEs through the Commonwealth Small States Trade Finance Facility, and enhance the participation of MSMEs, including women and young people, in global trade
- Improving market access: Increasing member countries’ access to existing and emerging markets requires identifying barriers to market entry and developing strategies which address the barriers constraining export development.
- Facilitating investment: Trade Competitiveness Section has supported member countries for example developing a maritime hub strategy and framework for Jamaica, boosting Sierra Leone’s export competitiveness through improved product packaging, and building the capacity of Sri Lanka’s export credit insurance industry.
- Supporting trade in service: Commonwealth members enjoy a formidable trade advantage without any formal collaboration, facilitated by historical ties, familiar administrative and legal systems, and the use of largely one language. Intra-Commonwealth trade as a proportion of global trade is rising and is now 20 per cent of Commonwealth countries’ total trade with the world.
- Support member countries in designing national trade programmes: Greater digitization in the Commonwealth can improve the prospects for trade-led sustainable development in many member countries, especially if measures are taken to address the gender disparity in digital access and connectivity.
- Develop and interpret regulatory regimes: Commonwealth also helps countries to understand various regulatory regimes, increasing the ease of doing business, and promoting good regulatory practice. For example, we recently helped to develop a Mutual Recognition Agreement for accounting professionals in the East African Community.