Call for Written Evidence: Commonwealth Inquiry 2017-10-08T11:56:17+01:00

Call for Written Evidence

About the Inquiry

The All-Party Parliamentary Group for Trade Out of Poverty (APPG-TOP) is undertaking an Inquiry into the potential of the Commonwealth – its member states, business and civil society organisations, as well as its own Commonwealth institutions – to help developing countries use trade and investment to reduce poverty and boost transformative economic growth.

The aim of the Inquiry is to gather evidence from a wide range of stakeholders on the Commonwealth’s potential to help countries trade out of poverty and to set out concrete proposals to realise this potential for consideration/adoption by Commonwealth member states at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in London during April 2018. The findings from the Inquiry will be synthesised into a draft report that will be tabled for discussion and feedback in the sidelines of WTO eleventh Ministerial Conference in Buenos Aires in December 2017. The final report will then be launched at the Commonwealth Business Forum, which is taking place alongside the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in London in April 2018 CHOGM.

Please click here to download the Terms of Reference, which includes a list of further readings, for more detailed information about the Inquiry

Key questions

To support the Inquiry, we are requesting written submissions from governments, regional economic community organisations, private sector organisations, civil society groups and interested individuals within the Commonwealth. The Inquiry seeks to answer the overall question: can the Commonwealth help countries trade out of poverty? To assist in answering this question, stakeholders are requested to respond to the following more specific questions:


  • What challenges do developing countries (particularly least developed countries and small island states) in the Commonwealth face in terms of harnessing trade and investment as tools to meet their development objectives? Please provide examples (personal experience and/or research findings)?


  • 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 does the Commonwealth currently offer for member countries 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 in this area?


  • How can trade and development policies 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 UN agencies? What should the priorities be for a new work programme for the Commonwealth on trade and development over the next 5-years?


We also welcome submissions that focus on a particular topic that falls under the umbrella of trade and development in the Commonwealth (e.g. informal cross-border trade, women & trade, e-commerce, investment promotion, trade facilitation, Aid-for-Trade etc).


 Please state clearly whether the submission is from yourself in a personal capacity or sent on behalf of an organisation.

  • Total 3,000 words maximum in length, no more than six sides of A4 paper.
  • Use font Calibri or Arial, size 11 throughout the document.
  • Include a short summary (no more than 300 words) of the evidence in bullet point form.
  • Document saved in Word or PDF.
  • Comprise single document attachment to send to
  • Please specify if you would like your submission to NOT be made publicly available on the APPG-TOP’s website.
  • Please submit your evidence by Friday 10th November 2017 or before.
  • Please include the following personal information: name, email, postal address, organisation.
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