The benefits of international trade are currently the subject of debate in various contexts, however, it has long been demonstrated that, even with its systemic imperfections which must be acknowledged, trade has been a powerful driver for economic value creation, inclusion and poverty reduction, as well as peace and security.
Trade has, until the peak of the global crisis, grown at rates that exceed the pace of global GDP growth, and thus has also been referenced as
a driver of growth of the global economy. In recent years, global supply chains are largely anchored in developing and emerging markets, with
large buyers often engaging in trade with communities of suppliers numbering in the thousands or multiple thousands, including micro-enterprises
sometimes belonging to local cooperatives.
Certain jurisdictions unabashedly leverage development assistance and poverty-reduction contributions to drive policy priorities and political influence, including procurement processes linked to assistance funds.
Philosophically, an initiative that aims to promote trade out of poverty among Commonwealth jurisdictions might usefully be positioned as a process
rooted in partnership and mutual benefit, rather than an exercise in extending influence.
Professional competency in the pursuit and conduct of trade then becomes a lynchpin to the success of an overall strategy to Trade Out of Poverty,
with global best practices, trusted networks of experts, and effective advocacy, all contributing materially to the overarching objective,
in the spirit of ‘a rising tide lifting all boats’.