Rebecca Wayman

Theresa May: 'I will use the Commonwealth summit to boost trade and growth'

This week, Theresa May will aim to use the Commonwealth summit to boost trade, economic growth and opportunities for the organisation’s young people.

It is said to already account for one fifth of global trade, with intra-Commonwealth trade valued at around £480m (€560bn) and is estimated to rise to around £605bn by 2020.

Speaking ahead of the Heads of Government Meeting, the Prime Minister is aiming to make the Commonwealth a place for ‘free and inclusive trade’.

She said: “I firmly believe that regardless of which corner of the Commonwealth you are from, we all will benefit from the jobs created by doing so.

“Every one of those new jobs will mean another family seeing their hard work rewarded, and the spread of greater opportunity.

“I am also proud that important action taken at this summit will mean that more women will be able to overcome barriers which keep them from participating in trade.”

It has been estimated that if women played the same role as men in labour markets, around £24trn could be added to global GDP by 2025.

The new SheTrades programme aims to offer £7m in Commonwealth-wide support to increasing the presence of women-owned businesses to operate internationally from countries where being female is a professional barrier.

On a whole, the Prime Minister believes that ‘boosting trade will in turn boost jobs’; tackling the youth unemployment which the Commonwealth knows is a real problem for its youngest citizens.

Of the organisation’s 2.4bn citizens, 60 per cent are under 30.

With more young people looking to move into the workplace, they could benefit from a new £3.4m apprenticeship and training programme in the Commonwealth, helping to ‘promote and share best practice’ across the Commonwealth.

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