The Commonwealth includes some of our closest friends and greatest allies. We share many bonds and I hope the Hon. Gentleman will welcome our commitment to work closely with Commonwealth countries to remove barriers and liberalise the global trading environment.
At the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in 2018, chaired by the United Kingdom, we committed to boosting intra-Commonwealth trade beyond $2 trillion (approximately £1.5 trillion) by 2030. Commonwealth leaders also adopted the ‘Commonwealth Connectivity Agenda for Trade and Investment’ to enhance cooperation amongst ourselves.
In October 2019, the Secretary of State chaired the sixth Commonwealth Trade Ministers Meeting, which reaffirmed the Commonwealth’s support for free trade and the rules based multilateral trading system. HM Government is also funding several projects including the Commonwealth Trade Facilitation Programme, the Commonwealth Standards Network and the SheTrades Commonwealth Programme.
My department aims to go further in the months and years ahead.