The Commonwealth Advantage

Rapid population and per capita income growth (especially in Asia) are part of the driving forces behind the Commonwealth’s buoyancy. With 2.4 billion people, 60% of whom are under the age of 30 and over a billion women, these drivers are unlikely to slow anytime soon – with or without coronavirus. At the same time, the Commonwealth is home to 44% of the world’s poorest women so will be crucial in changing this globally.

While not a formal trading bloc, this ‘Commonwealth Advantage’ enables member states to trade up to 20% more with each other than with non-members, at a 21% lower cost, on average. Commonwealth Secretariat research also shows that these countries invest up to 27% more within the Commonwealth than outside of it – almost tripling investment levels five years ago, which stood at 10%.

Strengthening the connectivity among our countries is therefore critical, so that trade flows remain resilient during times of crisis. Digital connectivity will be especially key, as the need to interact virtually now will transform the way people trade and do business. It is already a major area of focus for the Commonwealth, under its flagship Connectivity Agenda.

Countries by region