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India sees significant improvement in UNESCAP score on trade facilitation


PTI, Jul 23, 2021, 3:28 PM IST

New Delhi: India has seen a ”significant improvement” in the UNESCAP’s Global Survey on Digital & Sustainable Trade Facilitation with a 90.32 per cent score.

After evaluation of 143 economies, the Survey 2021 has highlighted India’s significant improvement in the scores on all five key indicators – transparency, formalities, institutional arrangement and cooperation, paperless trade and cross-border paperless trade.

India has scored 90.32 per cent in the global survey on Digital and Sustainable Trade Facilitation. This is a remarkable jump from 78.49 per cent in 2019.

Under the transparency indicator, the country scored 100 per cent in 2021, up from 93.33 per cent in 2019.

The score for ‘paperless trade’ improved to 96.3 per cent in 2021, from 81.48 per cent in 2019.

The score in the institutional arrangement and cooperation indicator improved to 88.89 per cent, from 66.67 per cent in 2019.

In a statement, the Finance Ministry said that India has seen ”significant improvement” in the score in United Nations’ Global Survey on Digital and Sustainable Trade Facilitation.

The Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) has been at forefront of path-breaking reforms under the umbrella of ‘Turant’ Customs to usher in a Faceless, Paperless and Contactless Customs by way of a series of reforms, it said.

”This has had a direct impact in terms of the improvement in the UNESCAP rankings on digital and sustainable trade facilitation,” the ministry added.

The Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) serves as the United Nations’ regional hub promoting cooperation among countries to achieve inclusive and sustainable development.

Further, during the COVID-19 pandemic, Customs formations have made all efforts to expedite COVID-19-related imports such as oxygen-related equipment, life-saving medicines, vaccines etc. A dedicated single window COVID-19 24×7 helpdesk for EXIM trade was created on the CBIC website to facilitate quick resolution of issue(s) faced by importers, the finance ministry said.

The Global Survey on Digital and Sustainable Trade Facilitation is conducted every two years by UNESCAP.

The 2021 Survey includes an assessment of 58 trade facilitation measures covered by the WTO’s Trade Facilitation Agreement. A higher score for a country also helps businesses in their investment decisions.

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