London — Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi will be in London this week to attend the biennial Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM), which opens on Thursday.
The summit will focus on increasing intra-Commonwealth trade, which is projected to increase to one trillion US dollars by 2020. This is seen by some analysts as being particularly important in the context of Britain's planned exit from the European Union and its desire to secure new trade deals. Currently, almost half of Britain's trade is within the European Union, while trade with Commonwealth partners accounts for only ten per cent.
According to Australia's Foreign Minister, Julie Bishop, the Commonwealth is looking at expanding its membership beyond English speaking nations. She told News Corp Australia that “there is a big push to extend the commonwealth beyond its old colonial image with a campaign to include new members which were not under British control”.
In another development, Zimbabwe has been invited to attend the summit as an observer for the first time since the country was suspended from the Commonwealth over accusations of human rights abuses and election rigging. In 2003, President Robert Mugabe withdrew the country from the Commonwealth, and it now looks likely that moves will be underway to repair relations, with Zimbabwe's Foreign Minister Sibusiso Moyo attending the summit.
The Commonwealth is made up of 53 countries with 2.4 billion citizens, with Mozambique joining in 1995.