Trade and the Commonwealth: developing countries: Government Response to the Committee’s Fifth Report of Session 2017–19

Seventh Special Report

The International Trade Committee published its Fifth Report of Session 2017–19, Trade and the Commonwealth: developing countries, on 29 November 2018 (HC 667). The response from the Government, and an accompanying letter from the Secretary of State for International Trade, were received on 5 April 2019 and are appended below.

Appendix 1: Letter from the Secretary of State for International Trade

I would like to thank the Committee for its report published 21 November 2018 on Trade and the Commonwealth: developing countries. Your work plays a vital part in providing important scrutiny and debate.

The Commonwealth is a diverse network of nations, representing every geographic region and all levels of development. The 2018 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) demonstrated that the Commonwealth continues to be an important network that can influence and drive change.

As Chair-in-Office, the UK has continued to work with the three pillars of the Commonwealth – the Commonwealth Secretariat, its member states, and its organisations and networks to deliver a future that is fairer, more sustainable, more prosperous, and more secure.

The UK Government has a long-standing commitment to support developing countries to reduce poverty. This means investing in development to build a safer, healthier, more prosperous world. The government also continues to deliver improved support to developing countries by helping them break down the barriers to trade, supporting critical trade infrastructure like ports and roads, and building trade skills in those countries, so that they can take better advantage of trading opportunities.

My Department is working closely with the Department for International Development and with other government departments, to ensure development and global prosperity are at the heart of UK trade and investment policy.

I enclose a formal response to the conclusions and recommendations made in the Committee’s report, and I welcome continued engagement with you.

March 2019

Published: 3 May 2019