On the 30th and 31st May, Clarkslegal Managing Partner Monica Atwal attended the first India-Commonwealth SME Trade Summit in India, along with other business leaders and high-level policymakers. Among the topics discussed were Brexit, deepening intra-Commonwealth trade, trade facilitation in services and cross-border e-commerce.
Commonwealth countries have a huge untapped trade and investment potential. Collectively, they exported and imported goods and services worth US$ 2 trillion and US$ 2.3 trillion respectively in 2015. However, intra-Commonwealth trade amounts to only 17% of total Commonwealth global trade. To promote trade and investment among the SMEs of the Commonwealth, a sectoral approach has been adopted focusing sectors where SMEs have operational presence at national or sub-regional level in member countries. The Summit hosted three platforms- linking different stakeholders who play an important role in enhancing the ecosystem essential for boosting international trade and investment.
Highlighting the key messages that have emerged from the two-day long Summit, Professor Abhijit Das, Head, Centre for WTO Studies, said, “This summit saw participation of high level policy makers from more than 25 Commonwealth Countries together aiming at increasing intra-Commonwealth trade.”
He said, “Many areas especially in services sectors were identified where Commonwealth SMEs can improve collaboration.”
Clarkslegal LLP are founding members of TAGLaw, a major global alliance of law firms and have also established The Commonwealth Environmental Investment Platform (CEIP). CEIP creates a unique opportunity for Clarkslegal to facilitate trade and investment in sustainable technologies across the Commonwealth.