by SAVIOUS KWINIKA
JOHANNESBURG, (CAJ News) – COMMONWEALTH countries are estimated to have lost up to US$345 billion (R509.4 trillion), worth of trade in 2020 because of the coronavirus.
The loss includes $60 billion (R871.2 billion) in intra-Commonwealth trade.
This is according to 2021 Commonwealth Trade Review on “Energising Commonwealth Trade in a Digital World: Paths to Recovery Post-COVID.”
The review indicates that the COVID-19 pandemic has taken a heavy toll globally, substantially impacting all Commonwealth members’ economies and leading to $1,15 trillion (R16.698 billion) in foregone gross domestic product (GDP) in just one year.
Most Commonwealth countries also experienced a significant decline in overall Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) inflows in 2020, with a loss of $153 billion to the Commonwealth.
Asian economies suffered the largest decline in exports (at $146 billion), followed by African ($20 billion), Caribbean ($4,2 billion) and Pacific members ($1,3 billion).
Patricia Scotland, the Commonwealth Secretary-General, urged member countries can harness the ‘Commonwealth advantage’ as a post-pandemic tailwind to accelerate recovery.
“We know that trade can offer positive solutions to manage the pandemic and it is an essential factor for building back better,” she said.
The Commonwealth is a voluntary association of 54 independent and equal sovereign states.
It has a combined population is 2,4 billion.
– CAJ News