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India has improved its score in ease of cross-border trade: UN

India was among the best-performing countries in South and South West Asia, and the Asia Pacific region, CBIC said (Photo: Bloomberg)Premium
India was among the best-performing countries in South and South West Asia, and the Asia Pacific region, CBIC said (Photo: Bloomberg)

  • The Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC), in a communication on its website on Monday, said the UN survey result showed a remarkable improvement in India’s ranking on digital and sustainable trade facilitation

India has made noticeable progress in ease of cross-border trade, a UN survey, which tracked 143 economies on key trade facilitation parameters over a two-year period, said. According to the latest UN Global Survey on Digital and Sustainable Trade Facilitation, India’s rank moved up from 78.49% in 2019 to 90.32% in 2021. The biannual survey deals exclusively with trade facilitation measures taken up by countries.

The Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC), in a communication on its website on Monday, said the UN survey result showed a remarkable improvement in India’s ranking on ‘digital and sustainable trade facilitation’.

India was among the best-performing countries in South and South West Asia, and the Asia Pacific region, CBIC said. India’s overall score has was also higher than many Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries, and the average of the EU, it added. Among developed countries, Australia, New Zealand, the Netherlands, Japan and Belgium have scored more than 93%. In South Asia, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka were behind India with a score of 64.5% and 60.2%, the survey showed.

The survey tracks 58 parameters identified with trade facilitation, such as facility for electronic submission of declarations and electronic payment of duties and fees and electronic application for refunds, which are seen as the global best practices. As per the 2021 survey report, India has scored 100% in transparency, 95.83% in formalities, 88.89% in institutional arrangement and cooperation, and 96.30% in paperless trade.

The report is a shot in the arm for policymakers trying to improve India’s attractiveness as a business destination and to capture a larger pie of the global supply chain of goods and services. Boosting cross-border trade will be a key element of the strategy for post-pandemic economic recovery.

Since the outbreak of covid-19 last year, New Delhi has implemented several measures to eliminate red tape and for faster clearance at customs. On 15 July, the customs authorities have put in place a host of measures to speed up assessment and clearance of shipments in a more anonymous way. This is expected to streamline the faceless assessment scheme rolled out last October, and facilitate processing of shipments without direct interaction with merchants.

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