Commonwealth: Trade

Foreign and Commonwealth Office written question – answered on 24th June 2019.

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Photo of Viscount Waverley Viscount Waverley Crossbench

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the UK High Commissioner or a trade official attended the recent Commonwealth SME Summit in Nairobi; if not, why not; and if so, what conclusions they drew from that summit.

Photo of Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon Minister of State

​A representative of the British High Commission in Nairobi attended the Intra-Commonwealth SME Trade Summit in Nairobi in May, which noted the trend for the rising value of digital processes in SMEs' production and the need for SMEs to adapt to the increased global competition through digital technologies. The conclusions drawn included the need for Governments to promote national data policies and devise policies designed to protect infant domestic e-commerce platforms from the practices of larger, established companies. A recurring theme was the need to build SME digital capacity, with a role for tech hubs and incubators. In March, the UK also co-chaired the first meeting of the Digital Cluster of the Commonwealth Connectivity Agenda for Trade and Investment when Kenya joined representatives from 18 other Commonwealth countries to discuss how the Commonwealth can support development and increase trade by creating a more enabling environment for digital trade.

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