President in London to attend CHOGM

Narendra Modi next week will become the first Indian prime minister in almost a decade to attend a meeting of the heads of Commonwealth nations

Narendra Modi next week will become the first Indian prime minister in almost a decade to attend a meeting of the heads of Commonwealth nations

Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi will lead the Pakistan delegation in the upcoming three-day 25th Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM 2018). Yet risks remain. Global growth is fragile.

Other initiatives being launched include one to help member-states implement the WTO's Trade Facilitation Agreement, and She Trades Commonwealth, that will help break down gender barriers.

The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) is participating in the CBF with what it describes as a momentous delegation of almost 40 business leaders across different sectors of the country, led by CII President Rakesh Bharti Mittal, Vice-Chairman of Bharti Enterprises.

But some have pointed out that Britain's trade with Commonwealth nations now lags far behind that with its European neighbours.

May's government is looking to reinvigorate the Commonwealth, a 53-country network of mostly former British colonies, as it seeks to define its post-Brexit role in the world as a leader of free trade and active global citizen.

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Chandrajit Banerjee, CII Director-General, said: "The key question is what will be the new-age "common" factor in the Commonwealth?"

The prime minister will participate in all executive and retreat sessions as well as a number of events being held on the sidelines of the CHOGM.

The Commonwealth was taking place at a "critical juncture" as a "rising wave of protectionism" risked undermining the liberal economic order, Joseph Muscat, the Prime Minister of Malta, who chaired the Commonwealth for the past two years, said.

"It will empower developing countries to have a stronger voice in the worldwide standards community? something that has benefits on a global scale", she said.

"Freer, easier trade means stronger economies, more jobs, more choice and lower prices - and that is true here in the United Kingdom, across the Commonwealth and around the world".

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