India is at the forefront of global trade facilitation efforts, with an impressive score of 93.55 per cent in 2023 vis a vis 90.32 per cent in 2021, as per the recently released United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia Pacific’s (UNESCAP) Global Survey on Digital and Sustainable Trade Facilitation.
The 2023 survey covers more than 140 economies and evaluates 60 trade facilitation measures. With this, India is now the best-performing country amongst all the countries of the South Asia region. The overall score of India has been greater than many developed countries including Canada, France, the UK, Germany etc.
The country continues to demonstrate its commitment to digital and sustainable trade facilitation, according to a release issued by the Ministry of Finance.
The 2023 Survey has recognized India’s exceptional progress across various sub-indicators, with the country achieving a perfect score of 100 per cent in four key areas: Transparency, Formalities, Institutional Arrangement and Cooperation, and Paperless Trade, as per the official release.
The scores are a testament to India’s relentless efforts in streamlining trade processes, enhancing transparency, and promoting cooperation among stakeholders through initiatives such as Turant Customs, Single Window Interface for Facilitation of Trade (SWIFT), Pre-Arrival data processing, e- Sanchit, Coordinated Border Management etc. India has witnessed a substantial improvement in the score for the “Women in Trade Facilitation” component from 66.7 per cent in 2021 to 77.8 per cent in 2023 thereby indicating commitment to gender inclusivity and the empowerment of women in the trade sector.
India’s overall score has continued to improve year by year indicating a strong commitment to further enhancing the ease of Doing Business by undertaking next generational Trade Facilitation measures.
The UNESCAP conducted Global Survey on Digital and Sustainable Trade Facilitation covers WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) along with set of nearly 60 trade facilitation measures categorized into eleven sub-groups, namely: Transparency; Formalities; Institutional arrangement and cooperation; Transit facilitation; Paperless trade; Cross-border paperless trade; Trade facilitation for SMEs; Agricultural trade facilitation; Women in trade facilitation; Trade finance for trade facilitation; and Trade facilitation in times of crisis.
The survey is fact-based rather than perception-based. A three-step approach to data collection and validation is generally followed, implemented over a six-month period every 2 years.
The Survey reflects the efficacy of Trade facilitation measures taken by Indian Customs such as Turant Customs comprising of Faceless Customs, Paperless Customs and Contact Customs, in enhancing India’s ease of doing business and promoting a trade facilitative environment in the country, as per the official release.