'Efficient facilitation would increase trade among South Asian
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
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
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