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India rises in digital and sustainable trade facilitation rankings, scores 100% on transparency

India has achieved significant progress in digital and sustainable trade facilitation, according to the latest global survey conducted by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia Pacific (UNESCAP). The survey evaluates trade facilitation measures in over 140 economies, and India has emerged as a leading player, with a score of 93.55% in 2023 compared to 90.32% in 2021.

Key Points:

Daily Current Affairs 2023

  1. Impressive Overall Performance: India’s score in the UNESCAP survey has risen from 78.49% in 2019 to 90.32% in 2021, and further to 93.55% in 2023. This exceptional performance places India at the forefront of global trade facilitation efforts.

  2. Perfect Scores in Key Areas: India has achieved perfect scores of 100% in key areas such as transparency, formalities, institutional arrangement and cooperation, and paperless trade. These achievements demonstrate India’s commitment to improving trade procedures and enhancing transparency.

  3. Noteworthy Sub-Indicator Improvements: India has shown significant improvements in various sub-indicators:

    • Transparency: India achieved a perfect score of 100% in 2021, an increase from 93.33% in 2019.
    • Formalities: The score rose to 95.83% in 2021 from 87.5% in 2019.
    • Institutional Arrangement and Cooperation: India’s score improved to 88.89% in 2021 from 66.67% in 2019.
    • Paperless Trade: India achieved a score of 96.3% in 2021, up from 81.48% in 2019.
    • Cross-Border Paperless Trade: The score increased to 66.67% in 2021 from 55.56% in 2019.
  4. Leading Regional and Global Performer: India’s performance surpasses other countries in the South and South West Asia region (64.30%) and the Asia Pacific region (66.76%). India’s overall score is also higher than several OECD countries, including France, the UK, Canada, Norway, and Finland. It even exceeds the average score of the European Union.

  5. Focus on Gender Inclusivity: India has made significant strides in gender inclusivity by increasing its score in the “Women in Trade Facilitation” component from 66.7% in 2021 to an impressive 77.8% in 2023.

  6. Key Initiatives Driving Success: India’s success in trade facilitation is attributed to initiatives such as Turant Customs, a faceless, paperless, and contactless customs process. Other notable initiatives include the single window interface for trade facilitation (SWIFT), pre-arrival data processing, e-Sanchit, and coordinated border management.

  7. Positive Impact of Trade-Friendly Environment: India’s trade facilitation measures have streamlined trade procedures, improved ease of doing business, and created a trade-friendly environment. These measures have been particularly effective during the COVID-19 pandemic, with expedited imports of essential medical supplies.

About UN Global Survey on Digital and Sustainable Trade Facilitation 2023

  • The UN Global Survey on Digital and Sustainable Trade Facilitation 2023 celebrates global progress in advancing digital and sustainable trade facilitation.
  • Conceived in 2015, the Survey is conducted by the United Nations Regional Commissions and UNCTAD in collaboration with regional and international partners.
  • Key partners include ADB, ASEAN, and ICC.

Survey Overview:

  • The 2023 Survey provides an updated and comparative analysis of 60 trade facilitation measures implemented across 140+ countries worldwide.
  • The survey covers the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) and nearly 60 trade facilitation measures categorized into eleven sub-groups.
  • Sub-groups include Transparency, Formalities, Institutional arrangement and cooperation, Transit facilitation, Paperless trade, and others.
  • The survey is fact-based, focusing on evidence rather than perceptions.
  • Data collection and validation follow a three-step approach over a 6-month period every 2 years.

Empowering Insights:

  • The survey’s insights empower countries and development partners to formulate evidence-based strategies and policies.
  • It fosters the exchange of exemplary and innovative practices in trade facilitation.
  • The survey helps identify capacity-building and technical assistance requirements.

UNESCAP – The Inclusive Intergovernmental Platform:

  • UNESCAP (United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific) is the most inclusive intergovernmental platform in the Asia-Pacific region.
  • Established in 1947, it works to overcome the region’s challenges through projects, technical assistance, and capacity building.
  • Member countries: Consists of 53 members and 9 associate members, including India.
  • Headquarters: Located in Bangkok, Thailand.