This research has covered 54 diverse economies and presented a picture of the potential for cost reductions and trade increases as a result of the introduction of legal reform to enable the use
of electronic transferable records across the Commonwealth. It has shown that costs will, on average, fall by around 75 per cent and for some costs as much as 81 per cent. This itself could enable as much as US$90 billion in additional trade but, if combined with measures to use electronic transferable records in trade finance, will have a multiplier effect enabling a total of nearly US$1.2 trillion across the Commonwealth. In some countries, such as Vanuatu, where the costs of trade are disproportionately high relative to the revenues received, this has the effect of creating trade where previously very little existed.
As has been highlighted, there are limitations to this research, which come from the fact that there are very few precedents of this type of research and therefore benchmark figures have had to come largely from qualitative sources. Nevertheless, the size of the trade cost reductions and the market creation effects should act as a Call to Action for policy makers across the Commonwealth, especially if supported by other policies to promote education, standardisation and trust-building between the Commonwealth itself, the International Chamber of Commerce, the Digital Standards Initiative, the International Trade and Forfaiting Association and the African Continent Free Trade Area. This will enable standards and implementation to accelerate and the benefits highlighted here to be accelerated.