Introducing Commonwealth Exchange

For too long the Commonwealth has been seen as a relic of the past and unfit for the modern world. Armchair critics could not be more wrong. CX will change your perception

by Tim Hewish on 2 July 2013 08:22

This Wednesday sees the launch of Commonwealth Exchange (CX) a new foundation established to promote a 21st Century vision for the Commonwealth based on trade, education, and defence.

CX comes off the back of the publication: Common-Trade, Common-Growth, Common-Wealth that has previously been given strong support on the Commentator pages. We want to reward the readers’ loyalty by extending an open invitation to those who follow the Commentator and join us for a drinks reception at 6pm at the Marble Hall, Institution of Mechanical Engineers, One Birdcage Walk, SW1H 9JJ on Wednesday, 3 July. RSVP here.

For too long the Commonwealth has been seen as a relic of the past and unfit for the modern world. Armchair critics could not be more wrong.  CX will change your perception. The fundamental economics show that the Commonwealth’s developing and emerging economies are increasing rapidly. The Commonwealth spans all habitable continents and is a world time zone with English its Lingua Franca. The combined worth of Commonwealth GDP stands at $8.4trillion and growing. Its projected annual total growth is 3.7% and is even higher in African and Asian nations. These are not just the markets of tomorrow, but increasingly of today.

We at CX take the view that the Commonwealth is a misunderstood and under-utilised entity. For the Commonwealth to have resonance in a fast changing world it must have a core economic dimension that rests upon free markets and lifting individuals out of poverty through education and entrepreneurship. It must be in the minds of businessman and the hearts of the young alike. When two businessmen take their seats on a plane from London to Accra, Kuala Lumpur or Toronto and ask why the other is on the flight we want both their answers to be because it is easier to trade and invest in the Commonwealth.

In the UK, we are unfortunately unaware of the Commonwealth opportunities that are there for the offering. CX aims to be the catalyst that helps people make that meaningful connection. That is why we have created a newsstand on our site so you can learn more about what goes on in our Commonwealth with CX’s top five regional news stories.

More must be made of the educational linkages at school through exchange programmes, university placements, and gap years. Young people should not narrow their horizons by looking to European destinations, and nor should the UK – politically, economically, or culturally. CX wants the UK to become true globalists through the Commonwealth.

The same must be equally said of defence and strategic partnerships with our Commonwealth friends. Importantly, the UK must not be ashamed of the superb and unrivalled work that it does to help developing Commonwealth nations adapt and train their armed forces, while our historic allies such as Canada, Australia and New Zealand who fight and serve under our shared monarch should be championed, not discounted. More must be done in this area.

To these ends, we will be running social action projects and events such as: Trade Exchanges, which are quick guides for SMEs looking to export to other Commonwealth nations; giving select students a part in the recognition of the Commonwealth sacrifice during the centenary of WWI; a campaign to give Commonwealth flags a more permanent home on Parliament Square; and a Commonwealth T20 cricket match at the Glasgow 2014 Games.

CX will need great support from those in the Commentator community. That is why we welcome greatly your time and expertise to help power our positive vision forward. Please contact to register your place this Wednesday for our event or if you want to get involved further. Finally, I urge you to like our growing Facebook page, follow us CX on Twitter and visit our website to learn more.

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