Move to make Sri Lanka more competitive:
Trade facilitation vital for exports - FCCISL President
Trade facilitation is an essential component of trade promotion and
introducing new methods and facilities will enable the speedier movement
of export and import cargo said President Federation of Chamber of
Commerce (FCCISL) Kosala Wickremanayake.
He was speaking at a workshop on “Benchmarking Sri Lanka’s Trade
Facilitation Systems and Processes” jointly organized by the
Commonwealth Secretariat and the FCCISL.
He said that Sri Lanka has been one of the pioneers having introduced
facilitation in the 1980s but due to many factors its interest on this
key subject suffered and the country fell behind in this effort.
However, all countries recognize the value of upgrading and improving
procedures, so as to facilitate the movement and cargo, shipping and
Therefore, the FCCISL initiative of launching this program will
enable Sri Lanka to be more competitive in international markets as
measures will be taken to implement better procedures in respect of
facilitation, in terms of export generation under the program, he said.
Advisor (Trade) Commonwealth Secretariat, UK Sujeevan Perera said
that the current global trends such as credit crisis, recession,
collapse of the Doha Development Round, fall in commodity prices and
unstable oil prices will be great challenges to exporters in developing
countries and even giant countries suffer and therefore facilitation is
As such the Commonwealth Secretariat has appointed CrimsonLogic, a
leading Singaporean Consultancy Company to conduct this program.
The project will advise the Government of Sri Lanka on the steps
needed to bring the country’s trade facilitation systems and processes
up to the best practice standard.
The main outputs for the project will be a trade facilitation
benchmarking study and a strategy to address the weaknesses identified
in the current systems and processes. The anticipated outcomes are
reduction in bureaucratic and business delays, introduction of
simplified and harmonized customs procedures, improved service levels
from Government trade related agencies in the trade logistic supply
chain and improvement in the global competitiveness rankings assigned to
Sri Lanka in the short to medium term.
* According to the World Bank’s Logistics Performance Index,
indicators measuring the at-the-border and behind-the-border trade
policy performance outcome, Sri Lanka is ranked 92nd out of 150.
* Sri Lanka has invested heavily in upgrading its ports, improving
telecommunications infrastructure, electronic declarations for customs
transactions and steps to improve the business and regulatory regime.