Just 9 weeks before the Commonwealth Business Forum (CBF) comes to the UK for the first time, The Gambia has re-joined the Commonwealth as at February 8th.

The Chairman of the CWEIC, Lord Marland, has welcomed The Gambia's return to the Commonwealth and has invited the President Adama Barrow to give a keynote address at the Commonwealth Business Forum and lead a delegation of Gambian businesses. The invitation only Forum will attract over 800 senior business and Government leaders from across the Commonwealth.

Participants in CBF will explore how businesses can maximise the opportunities presented by the Commonwealth Factor, which estimates that trade costs are on average 19% lower between Commonwealth countries due to the shared values, regulatory systems and language.

Commenting on The Gambia's return to the Commonwealth, CWEIC Chairman, Lord Marland of Odstock said: "I am delighted that in the months before the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting and the 11th Commonwealth Business Forum, the Commonwealth is expanding its membership. The Gambia has a rich heritage and deep-rooted links with the Commonwealth, and I am very much looking forward to working with them, to increase trade and investment across the Commonwealth. I would be delighted if President Barrow were to agree to give a keynote address at the Forum and lead a delegation of Gambian business".

Intra-Commonwealth trade, which was estimated to be worth $525 billion in 2015, is projected to surpass $1 trillion by 2020. CWEIC's ambition is to encourage and grow intra-Commonwealth trade and investment and assist member organisations, in developing high quality trade and investment opportunities.

The CWEIC is also due to announce the first round of confirmed speakers for the CBF. All speakers at the Forum have personally been invited by Lord Marland of Odstock, Chairman of the Commonwealth Enterprise and Investment Council, and are considered to be leaders in their chosen field.