About: The Commonwealth brings together a third of the world’s population, including some of its fastest-growing economies and cities. Investment is already 27 percent higher between Commonwealth countries and bilateral trading costs are on average a fifth lower due to shared language and legal and economic systems – known as the ‘Commonwealth Advantage’.
- Rooted in the historical fabric of shared history, values, language, legal, institutional and government ties that influence commerce, trade and investment.
- Traders and investors benefit from familiar legal and administrative systems, as well as similarities in business, commercial and legislative practice.
- This cultural congruence extends to sporting rivalry and even to the family ties that have resulted from generations of intra-Commonwealth immigration.
- Founded: 1949
- Head of the Commonwealth: Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II
- Member-states: 53 (31 small states, many of them islands)
- Population: 4 billion (60% under the age of 30)
- Smallest country: Tuvalu (11,000); largest: India (1.3 billion)
- GDP: $13 trillion by 2021
- Commonwealth secretariat: Marlborough House, London
Since the London Declaration of 1949, which established the modern Commonwealth, India has held a pivotal position in this voluntary association of 54 independent sovereign states. It was India’s decision in 1948, as a newly independent Republic, to remain in the Commonwealth which influenced other Asian and African countries to join the organisation and which opened the era of the modern Commonwealth.
Since then, it was firmly established that joining the Commonwealth no longer necessarily involved continued allegiance to the British Crown. At the same time the word ‘British’ was dropped from the association’s title to reflect the Commonwealth’s changing character.
Source: The Hindu