India leads Global Trade Performance with a score of 93.55%
India has demonstrated its remarkable achievements in the latest United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia Pacific’s (UNESCAP) Global Survey on Digital and Sustainable Trade Facilitation.
The country achieved an impressive score of 93.55% in 2023 compared to 90.32% in 2021, emerging as the best performing country in South Asia region with overall score greater than many developed countries including Canada, France, UK, and Germany.
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The UN Regional Commissions and UNCTAD jointly conducted a UN Global Survey on Digital and Sustainable Trade Facilitation, with the aim of assisting countries in benchmarking and streamlining cross-border trading processes.
The survey’s goal is to reduce both the time and cost involved in international trade transactions. The comprehensive survey encompasses more than 160 economies worldwide and evaluates 60 digital and sustainable trade facilitation measures categorized into eleven sub-groups:
- 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
- Trade facilitation in times of crisis
UNESCAP said in a statement on its website quoting the survey, “Progress in enhancing trade facilitation has been evident through the implementation of general and digital trade facilitation measures, which has seen a significant increase of over six percentage points between 2021 and 2023, resulting in a more efficient trade process.”
It further added, “As of the present, the worldwide average implementation rate for trade facilitation measures stands at 68.7%. Developed economies lead the way with the highest implementation rate at 85.3%, closely followed by countries in South-East and East Asia at 76.6%. In contrast, Pacific Islands exhibit the lowest implementation rate of 42.3%.”
India’s exceptional performance
India has emerged as the best performing country amongst South Asia region with an impressive score of 93.55% in 2023. The overall score of India has been greater than several developed countries including Canada, France, the UK and Germany.
The survey recognized India’s exceptional progress across various parameters, as the country achieved a perfect score of 100% on key areas: Transparency, Formalities, Institutional Arrangement and Cooperation and Paperless Trade.
The remarkable scores achieved by India in streamlining trade processes can be attributed to its persistent efforts in various areas. Initiatives such as Turant Customs, Single Window Interface for Facilitation of Trade (SWIFT), Pre-Arrival data processing, e-Sanchit, and Coordinated Border Management demonstrate India’s commitment to enhancing transparency and promoting cooperation among stakeholders. These concerted efforts have played a crucial role in achieving the impressive results seen in the recent assessments on digital and sustainable trade facilitation.
As of “Women in Trade Facilitation”, India has witnessed a substantial improvement from 66.7% in 2021 to 77.8% in 2023, indicating commitment to gender inclusivity and empowerment of women in trade sector.
India has been making continuous endeavors to streamline and expedite the process of clearing shipments at ports for both imports and exports. The primary objective is to minimize the need for direct interaction between merchants and officials, while promoting digital channels for efficient data and information sharing. These measures aim to enhance the overall ease of doing business. The significance of these efforts gained particular attention during the pandemic and continued to be a focal point of the government’s economic recovery strategy, recognizing the vital role of trade in driving economic growth.