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A Model Commonwealth Free Trade Agreement

Collins, D. A. ORCID: 0000-0002-5517-6949 & Sundaram, J. (2022). A Model Commonwealth Free Trade Agreement. Institute for Free Trade.


Her Late Majesty the Queen once used her annual Christmas messages to highlight that the Commonwealth is the “face of the future”. With more than a billion people aged under 25, she noted, “it is important to keep discussing issues that concern us all - there can be no more valuable role for our family of nations”.

This voluntary family of nations to which we are bound by language and law, by culture and kinship, by history and habit, will at some point this decade collectively overtake the European Union in terms of GDP. Yet the immense opportunities of Commonwealth trade are often neglected in member states, largely due to the complexity and bureaucratic costs associated with negotiating such a large number of agreements.

This paper describes the provisions of a ‘model’ agreement which can serve as a baseline which can be added to or subtracted from in order to meet the individual needs of as many countries as possible. The series of FTAs this paper recommends will reflect different levels of openness to liberalisation, and will facilitate the maximum degree of cooperation, including investment, intellectual property and competition, at minimum bureaucratic cost.

This paper argues that it is through this pragmatic and flexible approach that free trade can be promoted within the Commonwealth, and can deliver its full benefits to prosperity, jobs, health, environmental protection and peace.

Publication Type: Monograph (Technical Report)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HB Economic Theory
Departments: The City Law School > Academic Programmes
[thumbnail of IFTCommonwealthOct2022.pdf]
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