Increased inter-commonwealth trade and investment can help a resilient recovery for the adversely affected Commonwealth economies from the ongoing corona crisis, Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal observed on Monday.
“I strongly believe that we can bring back the lost glory of Commonwealth alongside finding a way out for reviving the affected economies through coordinated efforts to enhance inter-Commonwealth trade and investment,” he said.
Commonwealth countries’ contribution to world economy is only 13 percent with fetching only 20 percent global FDI and 14 percent of world trade despite the fact that they have one third of world population, the Bangladesh finance minister repented.
Inter-Commonwealth trade is only 18 percent of 54 member countries total trade with the rest of the world, whereas the UK’s trade with these countries is only 9.1 percent of its total trade, he also informed.
“This statistics only indicates that Commonwealth’s existing trade related policies and strategies are not favourable for its member countries,” Kamal told the summit held with the theme: “Commonwealth trade: The lever for future prosperity.”
He stressed that finding out a solid recovery path for the Commonwealth nations has become essential as these economies has shrunk by 10 percent against 3 percent squeeze in global economy during the pandemic.
Citing an UNCTAD report, he informed that global FDI declined by 42 percent but half of Asia-Pacific Commonwealth countries’ economies got affected.
Sensing magnitude of the crisis, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has announced 28 stimulus packages involving $22.08 billion or GDP’s 6.23 percent, which has yielded results for Bangladesh economy, he pointed out.
According to October 2020 IMF report, Bangladesh was among a few countries that saw positive growth whereas world economy witnessed 4.4 percent negative growth on average, he also informed.
Commonwealth Trade and Investment Council Chairman Lord Marland and UK’s Secretary of State for International Trade and President of the Board of Trade Elizabeth Truss, among others, also agreed on increasing trade and investment among the Commonwealth nations.