UN survey gives high score to India’s trade facilitation efforts: CBIC chief

New Delhi: A United Nations survey recognizes India’s commitment to global trade facilitation, earning the nation an impressive 93.55% score in 2023, a marked rise from 90.32% in 2021, Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) chairperson Vivek Johri said in a weekly newsletter posted on the tax authority’s website.

The 2023 survey conducted by the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia Pacific (UNESCAP) considered digital and sustainable trade facilitation across over 140 economies. It assessed 60 different trade facilitation measures, with India showing notable progress across various parameters.

“The survey gave us a perfect score of 100% in four key areas: transparency, formalities, institutional arrangement and cooperation and paperless trade,” said Johri in the newsletter. “This is a testament to our trade facilitation efforts in streamlining our processes, enhancing transparency and promoting cooperation among stakeholders.”

UNESCAP said in a statement on its website quoting the survey that progress has been observed in more efficient trade facilitation with the overall implementation rate of general and digital trade facilitation measures increasing by more than six percentage points between 2021 and 2023.

“The global average implementation rate currently stands at 68.7%. The highest implementation rate is seen in developed economies (85.3%), followed by countries in South-East and East Asia (76.6%). Pacific Islands have the lowest implementation rate (42.3%),” UNESCAP said.

India has been taking consistent efforts to cut down the time taken and the procedures involved in clearing shipments at ports for both exports and imports. The idea is to reduce personal interface between merchants and officials, increase data and information sharing by digital means and enhance the overall ease of doing business. These efforts received special emphasis during the pandemic and subsequently as trade remained a key element of the government’s economic recovery strategy.

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Updated: 22 Jul 2023, 03:39 PM IST

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