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UN’s Survey on Digital and Sustainable Trade Facilitation 2021

  • 26 Jul 2021
  • 3 min read

Why in News

Recently, India has scored 90.32% in United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia Pacific's (UNESCAP) Global Survey on Digital and Sustainable Trade Facilitation.

  • This is a remarkable jump from 78.49% in 2019.

Key Points

  • About Survey:
    • The survey is conducted every two years by UNESCAP and includes an assessment of 58 trade facilitation measures covered by the World Trade Organization’s Trade Facilitation Agreement.
    • 58 measures include publications of existing import-export rules on the internet, risk management, advance ruling on tariff classification, pre-arrival processing, independent appeal mechanism, expedited shipments, automated customs system, among others.
    • A higher score for a country helps businesses in their investment decisions.
    • The UN Regional Commissions jointly conduct the UN Global Survey on Digital and Sustainable Trade Facilitation.
    • The Survey currently covers 143 economies around the globe. For Asia Pacific, it is conducted by UNESCAP.
  • Assessment of India:
    • It pointed out India’s improvement in the scores on all five key indicators.
      • Transparency: 100% in 2021 (from 93.33% in 2019)
      • Formalities: 95.83% in 2021 (from 87.5% in 2019)
      • Institutional Arrangement and Cooperation: 88.89% in 2021 (from 66.67% in 2019)
      • Paperless Trade: 96.3% in 2021 (from 81.48% in 2019).
      • Cross-Border Paperless Trade: 66.67% in 2021 (from 55.56% in 2019).
    • Comparison with Other Countries:
      • India is the best performing nation as compared to the South and South West Asia region (63.12%) and Asia Pacific region (65.85%).
      • The overall score of India is also greater than many OECD (Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development) countries including France, UK, Canada, Norway, Finland etc. and the overall score is greater than the average score of the EU (European Union).
    • Cause of Improvement:
      • The CBIC (Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs) 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.
      • During the Covid-19 pandemic, Customs formations worked to expedite imports such as oxygen-related equipment, life-saving medicines, vaccines etc.

United Nations’ Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific

Source: PIB

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