LSBM to Contribute to International Trade Committee Inquiry

11 Jun 2018

Between the 16th and 20th April 2018 the UK played host to the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) where leaders gathered in London and Windsor to address the shared global challenges we face and agree actions on how to create a better future for all.

LSBM was active in organising a comprehensive LSBM Lighthouse Events program in the run-up to the conference, reflecting the depth of experience in relation to the Commonwealth of many of our staff and students, and explored in advance, some of the key issues that came to the fore at CHOGM 2018.

You can read our Media and Content Manager, Stuart Brown's write-up's of the four 'Commonwealth Sessions' that we held here:

13 Feb 2018 - CHOGM 2018 - Towards a Common Future: Prosperity

19 Feb 2018 - CHOGM 2018 - Towards a Common Future: Sustainability

5 Mar 2018 - CHOGM 2018 - Towards a Common Future: Collaboration and Partnerships

20 Mar 2018 - CHOGM 2018 - Towards a Common Future: Fairness, Security and the impact of students and younger people on the Commonwealth

The four events were chaired by Arif Zaman (pictured), Deputy Director, Centre for Research and Enterprise at LSBM, who on behalf of LSBM and in recognition of his Commonwealth experience, has been asked to give verbal evidence to the House of Commons International Trade Committee on Wednesday 6 June as part of their Inquiry on 'Trade and the Commonwealth: developing countries'.

You can learn more about the work of the International Trade Committee here.

Commenting before appearing on 6 June 2018, Arif said:

"This provides a powerful way to shape policy in a key area, highlight key research and evidence of which LSBM is aware and have published and contributed to, as well as engage colleagues and students on the issues. We have also provided the Committee with a range of reports on Commonwealth trade (most of which have not been been provided by the Commons Library and its research service) for which the Committee Secretariat have already expressed their gratitude. 

I will use the evidence session to make a strong case for the UK having a clear, coherent and cohesive approach in why and how 2nd and 3rd generation (business) diaspora can be far better tapped as bridges to markets to support international trade outside Europe (and post Brexit), as these people in many cases have deeper and broader knowledge and relationships in their countries of origin."

(You can learn more about our extensive Academic Research here.)

The terms of reference for the inquiry can be found here, and the transcripts for these evidence sessions, as well as the written evidence received for the inquiry, are available on the Committee’s website here.


Update 11 June 2018

Arif Zaman has now given his oral evidence to the House of Commons International Trade Committee on Wednesday 6 June 2018.

He would like to thank Dr. Knowledge Mpofu for attending (he can be seen sitting in the public gallery - behind Arif and to the left - in the video footage linked to below).

Commenting about CHOGM, Arif said:

"From a Commonwealth perspective — and I do know the inquiry is focused on trade with developing Commonwealth countries — I think it is worth emphasising the positive outcomes from CHOGM, the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, in relation to trade. I think it was the first time ever that heads of Governments across all 53 countries acknowledged that trade is not gender neutral and there are specific impacts that relate to women across the Commonwealth, whether you are in Ribble Valley or whether you are in Pakistan. Across the spectrum, there is widespread recognition of that impact.


The other thing I would emphasise, and I think it is important to link it to the outcomes from CHOGM, is that there was a recognition that there needs to be a trade connectivity agenda across a number of areas, digital and physical, but the important word here was “mainstreaming”. There was a recognition that particularly for women and young people, this approach needs to be mainstreamed in all these different areas. That is why I do hope this morning we will have an opportunity to also talk a bit about the diaspora potential, because business diaspora provides a significant opportunity for women, as well as men, moving forward."

You can watch the video footage of Arif's complete evidence here (further information about the session is available here).

You can also read the transcript here.


Stuart Brown
Media and Content Manager

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