Commonwealth nations urged to invest in jobs

13 Apr 18

Commonwealth member states must create 50,000 jobs every day to provide work for the growing number of young people seeking work, the Overseas Development Institute has said.

In research released ahead of next week’s Commonwealth heads of government meeting in London, it said 17.5 million new jobs would be needed each year until 2030, against the 12 million created on average each year between 2003 and 2016.

It admitted that doing that would require a significant increase in investment and measures to foster trade compared to those seen in recent years.

Dirk Willem te Velde, head of the ODI’s international economic development group, said: “Our research demonstrates the urgent need to promote trade and investment to create more quality jobs. As more people enter the workforce, Commonwealth countries need to redouble their efforts to make sure levels of employment do not drop.

“Trade is growing rapidly between Commonwealth countries and offers big opportunities for job growth. This is particularly important for the poorest and most vulnerable states who export more than a quarter of their goods to other member states.”

In its briefing, Opportunities for Commonwealth development: Creating jobs, sharing prosperity and increasing resilience, the ODI said the greatest number of jobs were needed in India at 7.4 million, followed by Nigeria (2.3 million), Pakistan (1.8 million) and Bangladesh (1.0 million).

Trade in goods within the Commonwealth supported some 32.5 million jobs in member states.

To increase the volume of trade, it said governments should seek to reduce the costs and risks of trade and investment, increase trade in services through regulatory co-operation and make trade more inclusive for women and young people.

The ODI also called for special attention to the needs of small and vulnerable states.

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