Themes (Summit focus areas)

Today’s 54 Commonwealth countries account for over 17% of world GDP in Purchasing Power Parity and contain 2.4 billion of the world’s 7½ billion people. Even without any formal arrangements, trading between Commonwealth countries is 21% cheaper than with non-members. Massive cost cuts come from shared history, cultural links, common legal systems, business practices, and a common language between many Commonwealth countries. This is also known as ‘the Commonwealth advantage’.

At the same time the power and potential of women in trade remains largely untapped despite the fact that the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) resolved to address systemic barriers to women’s full and equal participation in the economy by taking a gender-responsive approach to the development of trade policy, and to promote women’s economic empowerment.’

With the African Free Trade Agreement in force, this event will showcase, signpost and support the role of trade in promoting gender equality in Africa and beyond, especially as we build back better for inclusive and sustainable economic growth.

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