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Wednesday, 18 July 2012

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'Efficient facilitation would increase trade among South Asian countries'

Efficient trade facilitation would increase intra- regional trade among South Asian countries as much as by 60 % and the trade with the rest of the world by 30 %, a World Bank report said.

Simplifying trade facilitation is crucial to enhance volumes of trade among SAARC countries, which requires a clear understanding to find out the existing procedures to address key issues in trade facilitation system of the country.

Currently, Intra regional trade within the SAARC region is hovering around five percent and Sri Lanka mostly depends on external demand for sustaining growth due to domestic demand of the country is quite limited.

According to official figures, Exports to GDP ratio in Sri Lanka has declined from 32.6 % in 2000 to 17.8 % by 2011 while Share of Sri Lanka exports in total world exports has declined from 0.09 % to 0.06 %.

"Sri Lanka needs to have a open and transparent trade regime within the SAARC member countries and it is imperative to have a permanent committee work in trade facilitation with all stake holders involved to address the present issues in imports and exports activities within SAARC countries.

In addition, private sector collaboration, proper connectivity between import and export procedures and implementing better clearance facilities at Customs as well as the ports, will also help mitigate the gravity of these issues," Centre for Policy Studies of Sri Lanka official said.

 

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