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UK NRI Dr. Mohan Kaul in the race of Secretary-General of the Commonwealth


UK., April 29, 2007
Sant Parkasgh Singh

Dr. Mohan Kaul, a very popular British non-resident Indian, Chief Executive Commonwealth Business Council is in the race of next Secretary-General of the Commonwealth at the end of the year

According to the local media report, he had already spoken to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and relying heavily on India's support. He is also very close to Prime Minister Tony Blair and hope to get a endorsement from UK

Dr. Mohan said, "It's perhaps time to make the Commonwealth an economic force instead of keeping it as a political talk shop."

Dr Mohan Kaul was appointed Director-General and Chief Executive Officer of the Commonwealth Business Council (CBC) on its establishment by the Commonwealth Heads of Government in Edinburgh in October 1997. When CBC was created, Commonwealth trade was worth $2 trillion. Today it’s $3 trillion. I don’t say that all of it is because of us, but our contribution is there.

In this period, he was appointed a number of high-level initiatives related to investment promotion and strengthening the investment climate, good governance and corporate social responsibility, reducing the digital divide, WTO market access and trade facilitation and integration of developing countries into the global market.

Dr Mohan approached all the member-countries and had received "encouraging response.'' Several countries, which he did not want to name publicly, had already assured him of their support, he claimed. "I expect support from a large number of countries, having been in the Commonwealth for 20 years and working at the international level for 30 years."

He chaired 28 national and global conferences in joint partnerships with governments, involving heads of governments, key ministers and senior business leaders.


  • He was senior faculty at the Indian Institute of Management in Ahmedabad. He was adviser and Consultant to the Government of India, Public & Private Sector Organisations, including Planning Commission, Electronics Commission, Department of Public Distribution, Shipping Corporation of India, Trade Development Authority, Larson & Tubro and DCM
  • He was a member of the Board of Directors of Dredging Corporation of India and a number of other Institutions. He is a Fellow of Computer Society of India.

Africa, Asia and Europe:

  • He was an Adviser to the South African government of President Mandela on reform of the public service and has worked in a number of other countries in advisory and consulting assignments.
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Dr Mohan said:

Commonwealth is a heterogeneous group, comprising both developed and developing countries. How do you reconcile various positions? For example, where do you stand on outsourcing?

We want to promote global trade and investment. Here, we are focussing on ICTs. If we reduce the digital divide, ultimately it will help in trade, investment and economic growth.

Even at the global level we have bodies like United Nations Information and Communication Technologies Task Force and platforms like the World Summit on the Information Society. What kind of value are you adding at this stage?

Commonwealth is the 2nd largest trade block in the world after the European Union, but not in terms of influence. Why?

We are influential, but in an informal way. The European Union is a formal structure. Ours is an informal structure, which has worked better in some ways.

When Commonwealth itself seems to be losing relevance, how do you assess the future of CBC?



Dr. Mohan Kaul
Chief Executive
Commonwealth Business Council