The Commonwealth Connectivity Agenda, Repository of Digital Policies and Regulations

The Commonwealth Secretariat has created an online repository of digital policies and regulations that covers all Commonwealth countries and contains information on individual policies and regulations in specific countries. The repository is intended to provide a frame of reference for Commonwealth members wanting to devise and implement appropriate policies to support digital transformation, create an enabling environment for digital trade, and harness the benefits of digital transformation.
Each entry includes:

  1. the name of the policy/regulation,
  2. the year it was adopted,
  3. whether or not it is available online,
  4. the way data is defined,
  5. the main focus of the document,
  6. target beneficiaries/sectors,
  7. key elements of the policy/regulation,
  8. whether the policy/regulations mirrors any other and, if so, which countries have similar policies/regulations.

To maximise its value, this platform is accessible to policy-makers and regulators in Commonwealth member countries, as well as other stakeholders and the wider public in the Commonwealth and beyond.

Trade, Oceans and Natural Resources Directorate

The Trade, Oceans and Natural Resources Directorate (TONRD) is one of the three directorates of the Commonwealth Secretariat. TONRD works in Trade Policy, Trade Competitiveness, Connectivity, Hub and Spokes and Oceans and Natural Resources, and is responsible for delivering two strategic outcomes:

  • effective policy mechanisms for increased trade, increased access to trade, employment and business growth; and
  • sustainable development of marine and other natural resources, including the blue and green economies.

Commonwealth Connectivity Agenda

At the 2018 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, the Commonwealth adopted the Declaration on the Commonwealth Connectivity Agenda for Trade and Investment (CCA). The CCA is a major new member state-led initiative to grow intra-Commonwealth trade and investment to US$2 trillion by 2030 and promote expanded investment. This is intended to support global growth, create employment and promote knowledge exchange among Commonwealth members.

The CCA focuses on five (5) clusters of work:

  1. Physical Connectivity to support best practice in digital infrastructure development and reduce physical barriers to trade;
  2. Digital Connectivity to support the development of national digital economies and enable all members to take advantage of the opportunities presented by digital trade;
  3. Regulatory Connectivity to improve regulatory regimes across the Commonwealth, enhance international regulatory cooperation and reduce regulatory barriers to trade;
  4. Business to Business Connectivity focusing on promoting interaction between Commonwealth businesses and supporting public-private dialogue on connectivity;
  5. Supply Side Connectivity focusing on agriculture and fisheries and aiming to encourage the participation of all members in global value chains, including through the development of smart agriculture and smart fisheries. Throughout these areas, inclusive and sustainable trade addressing women’s economic empowerment and youth unemployment, will be mainstreamed.