Top leaders of Commonwealth member states on Sunday urged global efforts to push forward international trade and investment so as to boost and sustain global economic recovery.
In one of the key documents adopted at the end of their three- day summit, Kotte Statement on International Trade and Investment, the leaders noted that the Commonwealth accounts for one-fifth of global trade and is home to a population of over two billion, the majority of which live in developing and Least Developed member states.
They expressed deep concern that widespread unemployment and economic hardship has created growing social unrest in many parts of the world.
The leaders emphasized that reinvigorated worldwide and intra- Commonwealth trade and investment flows in boosting and sustaining global economic recovery as they are fundamental to economic prosperity, poverty alleviation and employment generation.
"We reaffirm our commitment to a rules-based transparent free and fair multilateral trading system that enhances our trade liberalization and developmental objectives, while taking into account the special requirements of small and vulnerable economies and Least Developed Countries," the statement says.
"In particular, we underline the urgency, need for flexibility and importance of securing a successful and balanced outcome at the 9th Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organization in December 2013, to provide renewed confidence in the multilateral trading system and the much needed impetus for post-Bali negotiations to conclude the Doha round in the near future."
The Commonwealth leaders called for the removal of trade distorting subsidies and that of non-tariff barriers and called for mechanisms designed to provide assistance to the promotion of investment flows and enhanced trade development within the Commonwealth.
Noting investments in productive sectors are vital to driving economic growth, employment creation and poverty reduction, the leaders reiterated their commitment to working together in promoting greater intra-Commonwealth investment flows and enhanced private sector engagements.
The leaders said they support regional trading arrangements that complement and support the multilateral trading system, and encourage ongoing regional integration efforts involving member states as unity of markets breeds strength and enhances global competitiveness.
They also urged all concerned to ensure sustained, regular and uninterrupted flows of trade finance to support export and investment promotion, particularly in expanding intra-Commonwealth trade and investment flows.