Effectively Governing the Ocean Economy and Boosting the Trade Performance of Commonwealth Small States


Jodie Keane
Rosemarie Cadogan
Hilary Enos-Edu


Although small states' total share of global trade has been declining over time, specific sectors, including those related to the ocean economy, have been experiencing growth. A number of Commonwealth coastal small states have been pioneering blue economy approaches underpinned by integrated ocean governance frameworks. This International Trade Working Paper explores the associations between improvements in ocean governance – with a focus on fisheries – and Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 14 trade-related outcomes. It draws on three Commonwealth case studies: Barbados, Belize and Seychelles. The preliminary analysis undertaken suggests that improvements in ocean governance through enhanced coastal protection could boost trade by US$3 million a year on average for Commonwealth small states. Boosting Commonwealth small states coastal protection so that it exceeds the global average could increase the value of fisheries trade for member countries by an average of US$10 million annually. These initial exploratory results provide a number of avenues for further research, including the ocean economy and trade strategies being pioneered in selected Commonwealth small states.



24 February 2020

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