Commonwealth trade has its origins in the historical relationship between Britain and other members of the Commonwealth when Britain was the world's largest trading nation, providing markets for raw materials and goods from her colonies and the source for finished products needed by those colonies. The complementary patterns of production, investment and trade that grew under this relationship evolved in different ways as member countries developed and diversified their economies. International payment arrangements, generally with sterling as their common reserve currency, and a pattern of trade influenced largely by Commonwealth preferences, further extended and developed the relationship.


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