International Trade Working Paper

The International Trade Working Paper series promptly documents and disseminates reviews, analytical work and think-pieces to facilitate the exchange of ideas and to stimulate debates and discussions on issues that are of interest to developing countries in general and Commonwealth members in particular. The issues considered in the papers may be evolving in nature, leading to further work and refinement at a later stage.


The Pillars of Trade Success

Reflections From the Commonwealth

This paper outlines a new analytical framework for understanding how Commonwealth countries are responding to global challenges outlined in Part I of the review. The analytical framework proposes four interlinked ‘pillars’ of trade success: strategic trade policies to guide their use of trade measures; the building of trading capacity and institutional capacity to contest markets, and a stronger global trade-supporting architecture that ensures better coherence between stakeholders, policies and financing. Case studies from the Commonwealth suggest that members are using new and creative approaches to the challenges of trade adjustment. From re-shaping their national institutions and key policy documents to better understanding the linkages between infrastructure, policy and institutions; from smarter re-allocation of scarce domestic resources to advocating for financing instruments that understand their unique characteristics and concerns. The evidence from the Commonwealth also demonstrates how each pillar – in its presence or absence – is vital to the linkages between trade and key social and economic objectives, such as economic growth, sustainable development and export diversification.


Keywords: Commonwealth, trade policy, negotiation, capacity building, competitiveness, least developed countries, small states
JEL: F02: International Economics / General / International Economic Order and Integration; F13: International Economics / Trade / Trade Policy; International Trade Organizations
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