Commonwealth Business Council


Commonwealth Business Council
Commonwealth Business Council (logo).jpg

The Commonwealth Business Council (CBC) is an institution of the Commonwealth Family that aims to utilise the global network of the Commonwealth of Nations more effectively for the promotion of global trade and investment for shared prosperity. It was formed at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting 1997 (CHOGM), in Edinburgh, United Kingdom.

The CBC acts as a bridge for cooperation between business and government, concentrating efforts on these specific areas:

  • Enhancing Trade
  • Mobilising Investment
  • Promoting Corporate Citizenship
  • Facilitating ICT for Development
  • Public Private Partnerships

Commonwealth countries are major stakeholders in the process and success of the Doha Development Agenda. Together the Commonwealth’s 53 member countries account for 30 per cent of the world’s population and about 25 per cent of its international trade and investment. Commonwealth countries account for 40 per cent of WTO membership. CBC’s trade development objectives include encouraging trade facilitation and further liberalisation of services; encouraging developing countries to play an active role in the World Trade Organisation, and in new trade rounds, by maximising their negotiating strength through cooperative action.

The CBC helps to mobilise investment into Commonwealth countries through measures including ensuring access to international capital markets; strengthening 26 domestic capital markets; encouraging regional integration; committing the private sector to work together with governments to help achieve a successful market economy for generating investment.

A key feature of CBC is its global membership, comprising corporate members from both developed and developing countries. This gives CBC the capacity to make a special contribution to the debate on corporate citizenship, dominated by developed countries.

The CBC has been working to involve private sector engagement in facilitating the implementation of an Information Communications Technologies for Development programme. The CBC programme enhances collaborative partnerships between the various stakeholders including governments, private sector, donor agencies and civil society. Major goals include:

  • Bridge the digital divide for both social and economic development.
  • Promote ICT for Development in Commonwealth countries.
  • Promote an experience exchange among stakeholders in Commonwealth countries.
  • Promote business and government cooperation for development.
  • Create awareness and enhance the knowledge of policy makers regarding economic, technical and legal aspects of implementation of ICT for development.
  • Provide and facilitate training and capacity building.

CBC believes that there remains a significant gap for independent support to emerging market governments in the structuring and transacting of ICT infrastructure opportunities. The key CBC objectives are:

  • Examine how support from highly experienced individuals can assist through the creation of an infrastructure technical advisory unit.
  • Provide senior-level government support to provide focused advice.
  • Provide mechanisms that will help governments leverage the huge capacity of the private sector to address the demand for better infrastructure.

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