Com­mon­wealth trade stan­dards ini­tia­tive

The Courier & Advertiser (Dundee Edition) - - NEWS - David huGhes

Com­mon­wealth coun­tries will get UK help to meet in­ter­na­tional trade stan­dards.

Brex­i­teers have cham­pi­oned the idea of boost­ing trade links with the Com­mon­wealth af­ter leav­ing the Euro­pean Union, and Prime Min­is­ter Theresa May set out plans to make it eas­ier for busi­nesses to op­er­ate more freely within the 53-na­tion group as lead­ers gath­ered in Lon­don for the Com­mon­wealth Heads of Gov­ern­ment Meet­ing (Chogm).

In a speech at the Guild­hall in the City of Lon­don she called for the Com­mon­wealth to be­come a bea­con of free trade at a time of frag­ile in­ter­na­tional growth and con­tin­ued pro­tec­tion­ism.

Trade in the Com­mon­wealth is val­ued at £393 bil­lion and is es­ti­mated to rise to £492bn by 2020, ac­cord­ing to the Gov­ern­ment.

Mrs May promised Bri­tish help for de­vel­op­ing coun­tries to meet ex­ist­ing stan­dards for their prod­ucts. “Shared stan­dards have huge po­ten­tial to stim­u­late trade,” she said.

“The UK will be fund­ing an all-new Com­mon­wealth Stan­dards Net­work, which will sup­port de­vel­op­ing coun­tries in par­tic­u­lar to bet­ter meet ex­ist­ing in­ter­na­tional stan­dards.”

The prime min­is­ter also an­nounced that the UK will sup­port a pro­gramme of tech­ni­cal as­sis­tance to Com­mon­wealth coun­tries to im­ple­ment the terms of the World Trade Or­gan­i­sa­tion agree­ment on trade fa­cil­i­ta­tion.

Full im­ple­men­ta­tion is es­ti­mated to re­duce trade costs by as much as 16% for less-de­vel­oped coun­tries, while cut­ting the av­er­age time needed for goods im­ports by 47% and ex­ports by up to 91%, she said.

She an­nounced plans for the UK to work with the In­ter­na­tional Trade Cen­tre on a new She Trades Com­mon­wealth ini­tia­tive to break down gen­der bar­ri­ers.

Mean­while, the PM is under pres­sure to ad­dress the con­cerns of long-term Bri­tish res­i­dents from the so-called Win­drush gen­er­a­tion. There are con­cerns peo­ple face de­por­ta­tion and be­ing de­nied ac­cess to health­care due to UK pa­per­work is­sues and anom­alies af­fect­ing some im­mi­grants from Com­mon­wealth coun­tries be­tween the late 1940s and early 1970s.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.