Beyond Trade and GDP: Exploring the Wealth of the Commonwealth


Salamat Ali
Brendan Vickers


Gross domestic product (GDP) and the value of trade in goods and services are macroeconomic indicators that are widely used to assess a country’s level of development, economic wellbeing and growth prospects. Both GDP and trade are constructs developed by economists and may not necessarily align with the way citizens perceive the world.

GDP is a one-dimensional measure of economic activity that captures only market transactions and disregards distributional inequalities. It also overlooks the role played by other valuable assets such as natural resources, land, water, minerals and ecosystem services in the development process. Taken in isolation, these two macro indicators may not provide a complete picture of a country’s actual wealth or growth prospects in the medium and long run.

This issue of Trade Hot Topics explores the composition of Commonwealth countries’ collective wealth, and the implications of
these assets for inclusive and sustainable growth and resilience in the face of shocks.



31 May 2023

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