PM to reach London today for commonwealth meeting

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The theme is "Towards a Common Future" as the future of the Commonwealth depends on its 1 billion young people.

President Maithripala Sirisena reached London last morning to attend the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting 2018. Forums are taking place in London for business, on gender equality, youth empowerment, and the role of civil society, ahead of the meeting of heads of government, which its champions hope will give the Commonwealth new impetus going forward.

The President will attend a series of meetings scheduled to be until April 20 including meetings with British Prime Minister Theresa May, Commonwealth Secretary General Patricia Scotland and have bilateral talks. The current membership of the Commonwealth consists of 53 member states reflecting diversity of all continents of the World.

Pakistan is one of the founding members of the organization.

"With its unique scope and global voice, such a Commonwealth can set a powerful example to the world, one that demonstrates and underlines the importance of protecting free trade and the rules-based worldwide order", UK Prime Minister Theresa May told a packed hall of business and government leaders.

Tripartite or bilateral cooperation for collaboration in third countries is also of significant interest, with new models of collaboration between India and the United Kingdom, focusing on joint projects and investments in African countries.

Chandrajit Banerjee, CII Director-General, said: "The key question is what will be the new-age "common" factor in the Commonwealth?"

"This presents a great opportunity for Indian business to lead the narrative, whether it is in trade facilitation, seamless movement of professionals and visitors, skills to support new age employability, sustainability or small business", he said.