Last Sunday, Her Majesty the Queen gave her annual message to mark Commonwealth Day, which was Monday 8th March and highlighted the importance of connecting during ‘testing times’.  A video of the speech, which was recorded in the grandeur of the magnificent St. George’s Hall in Windsor Castle, can be watched here.

Focusing on the impact of the global coronavirus pandemic, the Monarch spoke of using innovative technology that offers an immediacy that transcends boundaries or division, to help any sense of distance to disappear.  It is something those of us who trade and communicate globally, benefit from on an everyday basis and have done for decades.

As well as mentioning the stirring examples of courage, commitment and selfless dedication by those working on the frontline who have been delivering healthcare and other public services in their communities, The Queen also highlighted the remarkable advances in developing new vaccines and treatments.

Appropriately, Her Majesty closed her message by saying that, looking forward, relationships with others across the Commonwealth will remain important, as we strive to deliver a common future that is sustainable and more secure, so that the nations and neighbourhoods in which we live, wherever they are located, become healthier and happier places for us all.

When Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth was crowned in 1953 there were less than 10 countries in the Commonwealth.  Due to The Queens hard work, dedication and absolute commitment to the organisation, of which she is the head, there are now 54 countries in the Commonwealth, in Africa, Asia, the Americas, Europe and the Pacific and she is Queen of 16 of them. Commonwealth countries are diverse – they are amongst the world’s biggest, smallest, richest and poorest countries.

Member countries share a form of British common law, share the same legal system and any disputes tend to be settled more easily.  Leaders of member countries shape Commonwealth policies and priorities. Every 2 years, they meet to discuss issues affecting the Commonwealth and the wider world at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM).  All members have an equal say regardless of size or wealth. This makes sure even the smallest countries have a voice in shaping the Commonwealth.

As far as trading opportunities for Solar Solve are concerned, we already trade with many of the Commonwealth countries, particularly those that have sizeable shipowning or shipbuilding interests.  However, as Solar Solve’s aviation, crane and heavy equipment products continue to become more popular on a global basis, the opportunities to trade with more Commonwealth countries have increased significantly.

Solar Solve has been successful and famous for over 30 years as the No.1 supplier of Type Approved roller sunscreens and specialised roller sunblinds to the global Marine Industry.  What we have done for that worldwide sector we are looking forward to doing for the aviation and heavy equipment sectors around the world, including The Commonwealth.

John H Lightfoot MBE