ISLAMABAD: Findings of the second UN Global Survey on Trade Facilitation and Paperless Trade Implementation says the global average implementation rate of ‘paperless trade’ measures stands close to 50 per cent.

However, implementation of more advanced paperless trade measures remains at a relatively early stage, it notes.

Released on Wednesday, the survey focused on three main areas – implementation of innovative, technology-driven measures aimed at enabling trade using electronic rather than paper-based data and documentation and specific trade facilitation measures targeted at small and medium enterprises, the agricultural sector and women.

“Several countries from Asia and the Pacific are leading the way in making trade easier for all,” said Shamshad Akhtar, Executive Secretary of ESCAP, who led the preparation of the report.

“At the same time, many countries, in Asia and the Pacific and other regions, have substantial scope for improvement. Their action would not only reduce higher trade costs but also improve their export competitiveness at a critical time following the global financial crisis when boosting exports is a high priority,” she said.

According to the survey, the global average implementation rate of a set of 31 common trade facilitation measures stands at 59.9pc. Developed economies have the highest implementation rate of 78.5pc while Pacific Islands have the lowest of 28.2pc.

Published in Dawn, November 3rd, 2017

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