The Essence of Trade Facilitation
Where does India Stand?
The global tariffs cutback, particularly in the developed world has been substantial and also the consequent gains appropriated therefrom. This has led to the shift of focus in the contemporary trade policies, having inclinations towards one or more aspects of the trade facilitation. Trade facilitation pertains to simplification, standardisation and synchronisation of trade procedures followed internationally and within the borders of individual economies as well, bearing an enormous impact on the time to trade and otherwise increasing trade transaction costs. The South Asian region on the trade facilitation front lags way behind the other regional groupings. It contrastingly portrays dismal performance in terms of costs, documentation and time taken to export and import. Despite the empirical studies predicting impressive gains to the region from trade facilitation and mention of several trade facilitation measures in various bilateral and regional agreements, the interregional trade primarily out of inaction has been near stagnant since 1980s. The bright spot in the region, India is outdone in several trade facilitation indicators by the small and relatively not well doing South Asian economies. The border compliances contrastingly contribute considerably to the nation’s time to trade and the trade transactions cost. The trade facilitation measures undertaken by the nation have mostly addressed the issues concerning the GATT articles VIII and X and the left out measures are still substantially contributing to the trade time and costs. In this regard, the paper primarily endeavours to dig into India’s accomplishments and deficiencies on the trade facilitation front.