Events > Trading With The Commonwealth Conference
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Trading With The Commonwealth Conference

10 March 2022 | 09:30 - 16:30

The Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games will be the biggest sporting and cultural event to be staged in the UK for a decade, and it will be the largest event ever held in the West Midlands region. 

This free in-person event will give you insights into trends and opportunities in key Commonwealth markets and a chance to talk to key support organisations keen to help you grow your exports.


What to Expect 

An inspiring and informative day of keynote addresses from innovative entrepreneurs, senior commercial diplomats and Commonwealth Secretariat figures plus workshops and panels focusing on particular regions and markets.

There will be a Commonwealth Expo area and Adviser Zone where Commonwealth High Commissions, DIT International Trade Advisers, government export support agencies and commercial partners will be on hand to offer expert advice and support to help you on your export journey.

Save the date and secure your ticket today, the full event agenda and further keynote speakers will be announced in the coming weeks and we are very excited to share these with you! 




Confirmed Sessions

The Rt Hon Patricia Scotland QC - Secretary General of the Commonwealth  

What the Commonwealth means for British Business 

The Commonwealth comprises 54 countries and 2.4 billion people - over a billion middle class consumers. Researchers calculate that it is on average 21% cheaper to trade with another Commonwealth market than outside it.  Come along to find out why and how you can benefit and the importance of this relationship for British business…


Wilfred Emmanuel Jones MBE 

The winner of two annual Entrepreneur Awards, Wilfred Emmanuel-Jones is a classic entrepreneur with the “anything is possible” attitude to everything he approaches.

Wilfred Emmanuel-Jones is, in his words, ‘a poor boy, done good’. He was born in Jamaica and following his parents move to the UK in the 50s, was raised in inner city Birmingham. Unqualified but ambitious Jones has talked his way into television and has been responsible for one of the most successful food launches of recent times in the UK with his own range of meat products under The Black Farmer® label.


Darren Henry MP

Darren was elected MP for Broxtowe in December 2019. Proud of his history, Darren served his country in the Royal Air Force and now serves his country as a Member of Parliament.

Darren is also the Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy for the Caribbean. He joins us on a panel discussion on the region to highlight opportunities for local businesses and what more can be done to strengthen these relationships.


Dr Brendan Vickers - Commonwealth Secretariat

Dr Vickers is the Head of International Trade Policy at the Commonwealth Secretariat, having previously work as Economic advisor and Deputy Director for International Relations and Trade in the Office of the South African President.

He will be sharing his insights on the importance of building on diaspora connections and give an overview of the recent Commonwealth Trade Review highlighting the Commonwealth advantage and how firms can utilise this.

Daniel NG - CEO Cyberowl

Daniel is CEO of CyberOwl, a disruptive start-up helping asset operators gain visibility and address the cyber risks to their distributed, remote assets, particularly in the maritime sector. He was also former Associate Director of KPMG.

Daniel joins us to give insights into his international trade experience, particularly his experience trading with the Commonwealth nation, Cyprus. 

Professor Monder RAM OBE - Aston UNiversity 

Professor Ram is Director of the Centre for Research in Ethnic Minority Entrepreneurship (CREME). He is a leading authority on small business and ethnic minority entrepreneurship research and has published widely on the subject.

He joins us to chair our ‘Building on Diaspora Connections’ discussion to share some of his research findings and look at the important role that diasporas can play and the benefits that these connections can have for the wider economy and all businesses across the Commonwealth.


Roots To Market: Building on Diaspora Connections 

Professor Monder Ram of Aston University will chair this panel outlining his research into black, Asian and minority ethnic businesses. Professor Ram will be joined by a diverse range of entrepreneurs and government officials to look at the important role that Diasporas can play on the development of their countries and origins and opportunities available.


Latest Update on the Export Support Service 
The Department for International Trade’s Export Support Service (ESS) is the first point of contact if you have questions about exporting. No matter the size of your business, how much you export or where in the UK you are based, you can use the service to get answers to practical questions.

The ESS team will be joining us to give an overview of their services and signpost you in the right direction for any exporting queries you may have.

There will also be a number of market specific panels about trading with Commonwealth nations such as South Asia and Pakistan, Africa, The Caribbean and Australasia, Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei.



Contact Us

If you would like to learn more about these events or talk to an International Trade Adviser, please email info@tradewm.co.uk or call 0345 222 0159.

For more insight into what we do check out our online video learning library. You can sign up for a free account here. 




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Registration and Networking


Welcome from The Department for International Trade

Speaker(s): Shehzad Chaudhary - Deputy Director - Midlands Region - England Regions


Secretary General of the Commonwealth: What the Commonwealth means for British businesses

Speaker(s): The Rt Hon Patricia Scotland QC, Secretary General of the Commonwealth


Dr Linda Yueh on Commonwealth Trade

Speaker(s): Dr Linda Yueh, University of Oxford, Board of Trade Advisor


Commonwealth Trade Review Insights – What is the Commonwealth Advantage and How do Firms Utilise It?

Speaker(s): Dr Brendan Vickers, Head of International Trade Policy, Commonwealth Secretariat


The Black Farmer – My Trade Journey

Speaker(s): Wilfred Emmanuel Jones MBE, Founder The Black Farmer


Roots to Market – Building on Diaspora Connections

Moderator: Professor Monder Ram, Aston University

Speaker(s): Oliver Glendenning, Buildwork Solutions

Dr Brendan Vickers, Commonwealth Secretariat

Keith Shayaam-Smith, CEO, Legacy Centre of Excellence


Networking and Refreshments

Commonwealth Workshops

Explore the Market


Export Support Service

Speaker(s): Chaz Walia, Deputy Director

West Midlands India Partnership



Trade for Development

Speaker(s): Stephen Cartwright


Speaker(s): Colin Barker, Senior Trade Commissioner, Canadian High Commission


Commonwealth Standards Network

Speaker(s): Ben Headley, Senior Programme Manager


Speaker(s): Post Video/ Asian Business Chamber TBC


UKEF – Financing your Exports

Speaker(s): Anne Lockett, Mark Lynam


Speaker(s): Costas Dafos, Commercial Attache

Elena Orphanidou, DIT Country Director

Daniel Ng, CEO, CyberOwl



All Panels to be facilitated by Dr Linda Yueh, University of Oxford


Facilitated Panel – Trading with APAC

Speaker(s): Sam Myers, Deputy HM Trade Commissioner Singapore

Richard Graham MP, Prime Ministers Trade Envoy ASEAN

Matt Young, International Trade Advisor, DIT


Facilitated Panel – Trading with LATAC

Speaker(s): Karen-Mae Hull, High Commissioner Antigua and Barbuda

Darren Henry MP, Prime Ministers Trade Envoy, Caribbean


Facilitated Panel – Trading with Africa

Speaker(s): HM Trade Commissioner

Tin Mangwiro, Manufacturing Africa

West Safety

High Commissioner


Facilitated Panel – Trading with South Asia

Speaker(s): HM Trade Commissioner

UK India Business Council

West Midlands India Partnership

Hitesh Saxena, Head of Chancery, Indian Consulate General


Closing Remarks

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