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Commonwealth Business Council's Director General Calls on the Governor-General

BIS Photo

Sir Alan Collins KCVO CMG, Director General and Chief Executive of the Commonwealth Business Council paid a courtesy call on His Excellency the Governor-General on Monday, 7 May, 2012. The Director General and Chief Executive was in The Bahamas for a board meeting of one of the private companies he sits on. While in Nassau he was also able to pay a courtesy call also on Ms Marilyn Zonicle, Under Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

During his meetings Sir Alan explained the importance of the Commonwealth Business Council. 

He said the Council could help Commonwealth countries with creating and maintaining business opportunities, as a third of the world's population is in the Commonwealth, and 20 per cent of the world's trade flows are between Commonwealth countries.

"A study by Reading University shows that the cost of doing business between Commonwealth countries is 20 per cent less than doing business with non-Commonwealth countries."

Sir Alan explained that the advantages stem from the fact that the rules of law are the same, the system is the same and the language is the same, making it much easier for Commonwealth countries to do business with other Commonwealth countries.

He said every time there is a Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, the Commonwealth Business Council organises a business forum.

The most recent forum was held in Perth, Australia in October 2011.

Sir Alan said 1400 businesses attended the Forum including 80 Chinese companies that were attracted to the event. 

Numerous Heads of State, Trade Ministers, Foreign Ministers, Captains of industry, and two Nobel Prize Winners spoke at the event.

"So clearly the event was not inconsequential and as a result lots of business was done.  During these things, business is not necessarily done on the day, but the relationship is built so that people get back in touch afterwards and the trade flows from there," he said.

"We think that Perth illustrates that on the business side, the Commonwealth is very vibrant and alive.  We are also discussing holding other conferences in Australia, because that one was so successful."

He added that whatever else persons want to say about the Commonwealth, on the business front it is very active and can do a huge amount of good for countries. 

"We also want to bring business from outside the Commonwealth as well, so we have agreements with the Chinese to bring their delegations to our Commonwealth conferences; and we are very much hoping to do so with American companies," Sir Alan said.

The Director General and Chief Executive was in The Bahamas for a board meeting of one of the private companies he sits on.  The members of the board were flown in so that they could convene their meeting in the country.

Sir Alan also called on Mr. Ian Fair, Chairman, Grand Bahama Port Authority, to talk about the possibility of the G.B. Port working together with the Council on projects surrounding port development.

Sir Alan Collins KCVO CMG, Chief Executive & Director General of the Commonwealth Business Council paid a courtesy call at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in The Goodman's Bay Corporate Centre on Monday, May 7, 2012. Pictured are Marilyn T. Zonicle, Undersecretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Head Multilateral Relations/Organisations (Political Division) and Sir Alan.  (BIS Photo/Kristaan H A Ingraham II)