Head of International trade Policy at the Commonwealth Secretariat
There is now strong evidence that despite not having any coordinated policy measures, inherent features of the Commonwealth result in strong and intensifying trade ties between members. Notwithstanding this ‘advantage’, individual Commonwealth countries’ trade with the UK has for a long time now been governed through EU policies. The UK’s leaving the European Union (EU) – known as ‘Brexit’ – is likely to have important implications for the Commonwealth as trading relationships involving the EU and the UK are likely to change.
Commonwealth trade advantage
Cooperation among countries in international trade has increasingly been manifested in regional or bilateral trading blocs, with more than 600 of them being listed by the World Trade Organisation (WTO). The Commonwealth, by contrast, has remained a voluntary association. Yet, intra-Commonwealth trade in goods and services has tripled since 2000: from just over US$200 billion to more than US$600 billion. The share of intra-Commonwealth trade in Commonwealth countries’ total global trade has increased from about 15.2 percent to 17.6 per cent during the same period...