The Sunday Leader

TFA Economically Viable For Sri Lanka


By Amavasya Sirisena

The importance of implementing Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) in Sri Lanka to remedy the ongoing issues related to export trade and bring much economic benefit to the country was pin-pointed  by the International Chamber of Commerce Sri Lanka (ICCSL) Chairman, Keerthi Gunawardane told The Sunday Leader.

Further speaking in this regard, he added that, “Currently Sri Lanka experiences down turns in exports and ratings. Apart from that, it is a clear cut fact that the US dollar is badly affecting on Sri Lank as well.”

Notwithstanding, he further elaborated that the present scenario with Sri Lanka is critical when compared with the level of efficiency and economic performances of other developing countries in the region: Malaysia, Laos, Nepal, Thailand etc since they have been successful in drastically shaping up their economies to meet the demands of the current global trends.

Further speaking on the current issues that Sri Lanka faces in the present context in this regard, Gunawardane stressed that, “the current situation highlighting the real urge for Sri Lanka to implement effective initiatives related to export and import related issues such as how long we take to process the container and the custom documentation  was clearly explored in a recent study done with the intention of identifying the current situation of Sri Lanka amongst some of the Asian countries: India, Malaysia, Pakistan, Laos, Thailand, Bangladesh. There we understood that some of the countries like Thailand and Malaysia have stepped in to a continuing improvement process. Moreover, we found that smaller countries like Laos that have developed their level of efficiency to an extremely higher situation compared to Sri Lanka. In such a scenario, we found that smaller countries in the region have stepped in to the ongoing economic trends whereas, Sri Lanka remains with no proper initiatives.”

Gunawardane further said that they have decided to get the support from countries in the Global Alliance such as France Germany etc because it makes cross broader trade easier for Sri Lankan businesses.

He said the TFA will bring all relevant stakeholders together for effective and commercially meaningful trade facilitation reforms.

Gunawardane explained the importance of educating the business community on the importance and the benefit that TFA especially has on small and medium scale business companies and the steps that has been implementing by the ICCSL to make awareness amongst the Sri Lankan business community alarming everyone on the prominence and urge in implementing TFA in Sri Lanka.

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