The APPG-TOP together with ODI conducted a 6 month inquiry into “how can the Commonwealth help countries trade out of poverty?” Aiming to address a series of key questions in the run up to CHOGM 2018.
The Inquiry Committee received over 50 submissions of written evidence and held public hearings and other consultative events in the UK and in the sidelines of the WTO 11th Ministerial Conference in Buenos Aires in December, engaging over 40 ministers, diplomats, business people and representatives from international organisations, civil society and diaspora groups from across the Commonwealth.
The All-Party Parliamentary Group for Trade Out of Poverty established the Inquiry to seek to answer the following questions:
- What challenges do developing countries (particularly least developed countries and small vulnerable island states) in the Commonwealth face in terms of harnessing trade and investment as tools to meet their development objectives?
- What opportunities can be identified within the Commonwealth to foster faster, more transformative economic growth, employment and poverty reduction for developing countries through expanding trade and investment?
- What programmes and initiatives do Commonwealth institutions and member states currently offer to promote trade and investment for sustainable development? How are these regarded and is there scope to scale-up and achieve more impact? Is the Commonwealth reaching its full potential for co-operation in this area?
- How can trade and development policies and programmes be best designed to maximise the shared gains from trade and investment and reduce poverty in the Commonwealth? Are there examples of best-practice trade and development policies/initiatives that have either been or could be deployed in developing countries within the Commonwealth?
- What is the Commonwealth best-placed to do to promote prosperity amongst its developing country members compared to other development partners such as the World Bank or United Nations (UN) agencies? What should the priorities be for a new work programme for the Commonwealth on trade and development over the next 20-years?
The final report, titled “Our Shared Prosperous Future: an agenda for values-led trade, inclusive growth and sustainable jobs for the Commonwealth” can be downloaded here.
The press release can be downloaded here.