Commonwealth Business Forum to focus on Indian Ocean Rim

Mauritius is an important stakeholder of the Commonwealth Business Forum and the island economy is expected to take center stage this year as the forum focuses on Indian Ocean economies.

The 2013 Commonwealth Business Forum (CBF) will focus on the potential for partnership in one of the fastest growing regions of the world, namely, the Indian Ocean Rim. Mauritius is an important stakeholder of the Commonwealth Business Forum and the island economy is expected to take center stage this year as the forum throws the spotlight on Indian Ocean economies.

The premier business event for the Commonwealth will take place in Colombo, Sri Lanka on 12-14 November 2013 along with the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM). Incidentally, Mauritius will play host to the next CBF in 2015, which will provide the island nation with a golden opportunity to showcase its diversified economy, powered by tourism, textiles, global business services and the sugarcane industry.

To understand the importance of the CBF for the host country, typically at every forum, the organizing country benefits the most. At the last CBF in Perth, Australia in 2011, some $10 billion in deals were sealed for Australia. For the upcoming CBF in Sri Lanka, a $2 billion �business opportunity’ has been projected for the host nation.

The CBF is a major global business event, coming at a critical time as the developed world continues its efforts to secure recovery from recession, tackle the challenges of maintaining open markets, and when emerging markets are enjoying a greater prominence on the world stage than ever before. The forum will be a key event in developing stronger partnerships between governments and business to ensure that the Commonwealth plays its part in promoting sustainable growth to the benefit of the whole of global society.

So, do Commonwealth countries have trade ties that bind? Yes, very much so. Research has shown that trade flows within the Commonwealth countries amount to as much as two trillion dollars. This is not sheer coincidence but is attributable to similar accounting, governance and management structures which slash transaction costs by 10 to 20 per cent. Thus, an economic forum for Commonwealth countries made good business sense and so the CBF was born.

The special feature of this year’s forum will be a focus on building a new economic and financial architecture in the global economy, and ensuring that it is inclusive and beneficial to all. The forum will provide a valuable opportunity for high level dialogue on trade and investment between business and government leaders from the Commonwealth and beyond.

The forum, which brings together Heads of Government, Ministers, and top business leaders from around the world, is expected to be attended by over a thousand delegates.

The theme of CBF 2013 is Partnering for Wealth Creation and Social Development. The forum will be opened by the President of Sri Lanka, Mahinda Rajapaksa, and will be addressed by Commonwealth Heads of Government.

Source: Commonwealth Business Council 

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