Explainers

Implications of the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement for Sri Lanka

September 25, 2017    Reading Time: 18 minutes

Reading Time: 18 minutes

Image Credit – xuanhuongho / depositphotos

Dinuka Malith and Anishka De Zylva*

This LKI Explainer explains key aspects of the Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA),1 which entered into force in February 2017. It also considers implications of this Agreement for Sri Lanka.


Contents

  1. What is the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement?
  2. Significance of the Trade Facilitation Agreement
  3. Ratification and Commitments of the Trade Facilitation Agreement
  4. Assistance for Implementing the Trade Facilitation Agreement
  5. Critiques of the Agreement
  6. Sri Lanka and the Trade Facilitation Agreement
  7. Conclusions: Summary of Policy Recommendations for Sri Lanka
  8. Key Readings

Highlights

  • The TFA is the first binding multilateral trade agreement since the WTO was established.
  • Full implementation of the TFA is expected to reduce global trade costs by an average of 14.5%, and add USD 345-555 billion to global GDP per year.
  • Some critics have argued that the costs to developing countries and LDCs of implementing the TFA have been understated.
  • In Sri Lanka, however, full implementation of the TFA is likely to reduce the country’s trade costs, improve its export potential and FDI inflows, and enhance its maritime connectivity.
  • OECD indicators show Sri Lanka is on par with high-performing Southeast Asian economies in some areas of trade facilitation, but lags in other areas such as appeal procedures.
  • Sri Lanka should build the capacity of its National Trade Facilitation Committee, and tap into additional sources of funding for trade facilitation measures.

1. What is the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement?

  • Negotiations of the Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) were concluded in December 2013 at the Ninth Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organization (WTO), held in Bali, Indonesia.2
  • The ‘Protocol of Amendment’ that inserted the TFA into the WTO Agreement was officially adopted and opened for ratification by WTO member states in November 2014.3
  • The TFA is part of the WTO’s “Bali Package,” which is an early outcome of the long-running Doha Development Round. The Bali Package aims to reduce ‘red tape’ to enable trade, ease agricultural tariffs and non-tariff barriers, and boost development in Least Developed Countries (LDCs) via greater trade integration.4
  • The TFA aims to streamline and expedite import and export procedures and customs requirements, and to enhance co-operation and transparency on cross-border trade rules and regulations.
  • The TFA contains three sections:5
    • Section I on the expected commitments of member states;
    • Section II on ‘Special and Differential Treatment’ for developing nations and LDCs; and
    • Section III, which calls for the creation of committees on trade facilitation and includes provisions related to definitions and special circumstances.

2. Significance of the Trade Facilitation Agreement

3. Ratification and Commitments of the Trade Facilitation Agreement

4. Assistance for Implementing the Trade Facilitation Agreement

  • Trade facilitation can be broadly defined as implemented via hard infrastructure projects35 (such as ports and railways) and soft infrastructure projects36 (such as organisational or institutional structures that improve, for instance, transparency and customs management).
  • Available development assistance for implementing the TFA can be generally classified as, (1) assistance under the TFA; (2) assistance via the WTO, and (3) assistance by external organisations.

Assistance under the TFA

Special and Differential Treatment Provisions

The Committee on Trade Facilitation

Assistance via the WTO

Trade Facilitation Agreement Facility

  • The WTO created the Trade Facilitation Agreement Facility (TFAF) in 2014 at the request of developing and LDC members.52 The TFAF acts as the ‘focal point’ for implementing the TFA, and supports developing states and LDCs by:
  • The TFAF provides two types of grants:
    • Project preparation grants57 (up to USD 30,000 per project) for developing countries and LDCs that have identified a donor but lack funds for project preparation; and
    • Project implementation grants58 (up to USD 200,000 per project) for developing countries and LDCs to implement soft infrastructure projects, such as in-country training of officials to improve customs management.59
  • In 2016, the TFAF had total funds of approximately USD 6 million. Norway, Australia, and the UK were the three largest contributors to the TFAF in 2016.60

Assistance by External Organisations

Trade Facilitation Support Program

  • The Trade Facilitation Support Program (TFSP), managed by the World Bank, was established to assist states implement trade facilitation reforms and to align their trade practices with the TFA.61
    • The TFSP achieves this through technical assistance62 (for example, assistance with scheduling implementation timelines), and ‘knowledge, learning and measurements tools’ (for example, the TFSP Tracking Tool63 that tracks the implementation of reforms).
  • Seven partners have committed around USD 36 million64 to fund this programme; including Australian Aid, the Government of Canada, and the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The Global Alliance for Trade Facilitation

  • The Global Alliance for Trade Facilitation (the Alliance) is a public-private ‘platform’ to leverage business expertise, leadership, and resources for trade facilitation and the implementation of the TFA.66
  • The Alliance was established67 in December 201568 by the International Chamber of Commerce, the World Economic Forum, and the Center for International Private Enterprise, with the support of the governments of Australia, Canada, Germany, the UK, and the US.
  • In 2015, the Alliance anticipated a starting budget of USD 60 million,69for a period of seven years. If this funding is realised, the Alliance could be the largest financial resource70 for trade facilitation. The Alliance is yet to publish information regarding its funding status.

5. Critiques of the Agreement

6. Sri Lanka and the Trade Facilitation Agreement

  • Sri Lanka submitted its instrument of ratification on 31 May 2016,78 becoming the 81st member of the WTO to ratify the agreement.

Sri Lanka’s need for trade facilitation

  • Trade Facilitation indicators79 of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) show that Sri Lanka is on par with high-performing Southeast Asian economies like Thailand and Malaysia, in some areas, but lagging in other areas (see Figure 1).
    • In governance and impartiality, fees and charges, and internal border agency co-operation, Sri Lanka is on par with Thailand and Malaysia.
    • However, Sri Lanka registered low levels of external border agency co-operation, while falling significantly behind on advance rulings, appeal procedures, and the simplification of bureaucratic procedures with regard to documentation.
    • Sri Lanka should gradually implement reforms to move towards the levels of trade facilitation in Malaysia, Thailand, and other emerging economies.

Figure 1: A Comparison of Sri Lanka, Malaysia, and Thailand’s Trade Facilitation Indicators

  • Improved trade facilitation will enable more seamless trade flows, and thereby catalyse export growth.
    • WTO estimates suggest that Sri Lanka can expect trade cost reductions ranging from 13.9% to 15.8%, following full implementation of the TFA by a majority of member states.80
    • This could increase Sri Lanka’s potential to link up with global value chains (GVCs), as streamlined import and export procedures will minimise global supply chain disruptions.
  • The TFA can improve and streamline cross-border procedures, thereby reducing time and cost to export, which could allow for greater participation by small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in trade.
    • SMEs account for almost 52% of GDP,81 but contribute marginally to Sri Lanka’s trade;
    • Onerous trade, customs and border procedures—which the TFA aims to shed—are often cited by SMEs as “major obstacles to trade;”82
    • By taking advantage of TFAF’s soft infrastructure development programmes, SMEs in Sri Lanka will be better equipped to locate potential export markets and connect to GVCs.

Sri Lanka’s implementation of the TFA

Commitments under the TFA

National Trade Facilitation Committee

  • Sri Lanka established its National Trade Facilitation Committee (NTFC) in 2014, co-chaired by85 the Director General of Sri Lanka Customs and the Director General of the Department of Commerce.
  • The NTFC’s main task is to implement the TFA and other trade facilitation measures.86 For example, in January 2016, Sri Lanka launched the single windowi system87 to streamline the export and import documents.
  • Although Sri Lanka has an operational NTFC, the World Customs Organization has highlighted challenges88 to Sri Lanka’s NTFC, including varied levels of commitment of NTFC members, and gaps in the members’ understanding of the TFA and of their role in the NTFC.
  • Sri Lanka could look towards regional cooperation and international best practices to improve the effectiveness of its NTFC. Applicable best practices include:

Assistance to implement the TFA

Figure 2: A country comparison of the number of days taken to import or export

Expected benefits of the TFA for Sri Lanka

  • TFA provisions on developing a single window and uniform documentation requirements, and streamlining border control procedures, will shorten Sri Lanka’s average import and export times.
  • The TFA can markedly increase Sri Lanka’s potential in promoting export products, for example:
    • TFA provisions on expediting clearance of perishable goods could enhance Sri Lanka’s exports in the agro-food sector, which the government has singled out102 as a sub-sector with high export-earning potential; and
    • Apparel exporters would also benefit from swifter clearance of goods and transit procedures, as many cater to ‘fast-fashion’ retailers that frequently change inventories.
  • The WTO’s 2015 World Trade Report observed a “positive and statistically significant103 link between trade facilitation and FDI. Sri Lanka could therefore potentially improve its inflow of FDI by fully implementing the TFA.
  • Reducing non-tariff trade costs related to trade procedures will enable Sri Lanka to better capitalise on its geographical location and efforts to improve maritime connectivity, especially given that:

7. Conclusions: Summary of Policy Recommendations for Sri Lanka

  • Policymakers and the NTFC should multiply Sri Lanka’s aid for trade facilitation, including by diversifying its donor base.
  • To build capacity in the NTFC, Sri Lanka should (1) implement best practices of NTFCs worldwide, and (2) establish regional cooperation among NTFCs of neighboring Asian countries, similar to countries like Uganda and Botswana that have taken a “regional approach” to trade facilitation to overcome their common challenges.107
  • Sri Lanka should identify its remaining TFA commitments as category B or C commitments, and publish a corresponding action plan. It could learn from:
  • Sri Lanka should comprehensively study its gaps in trade facilitation, relative to emerging economies like Malaysia and Thailand, and prioritise reforms to improve areas like advance rulings and external border agency cooperation (see Figure 2).

8. Key Readings

Dua, K. and Abbas, S. (2010). Plurilateralism and Trade Facilitation: The Way Ahead for Intraregional Trade in South Asia. Asian Journal of Public Affairs, 3, 2, pp. 3-19.

Portugal-Perez, A. and Wilson, J. (2010). Export Performance and Trade Facilitation Reform: Hard and Soft Infrastructure. Available at: http://documents.worldbank.org/curated/en/232901468322759221/pdf/WPS5261.pdf#page=4.

World Trade Organization (2017). National Committees on Trade Facilitation: Current Practices and Challenges. Trade Facilitation: Experience Sharing Series. Available at: https://www.tfafacility.org/sites/default/files/news/tfa_national_committees_trade_facilitation_web_e.pdf.

World Trade Organization. (2014). Agreement on Trade Facilitation. Available at: https://www.wto.org/english/docs_e/legal_e/tfa-nov14_e.htm.

World Trade Organization. (2015). Speeding Up Trade: Benefits and Challenges of Implementing the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement. Available at: https://www.wto.org/english/res_e/booksp_e/world_trade_report15_e.pdf.

Notes

A single window allows traders to submit all import, export, and transit information required by regulatory agencies via a single electronic gateway, instead of submitting it multiple times to various government entities.

ii Multi-container consolidation or multi-country consolidation means consolidating cargo from different countries of origin to build Full Container Load freights.

iii Time taken to export is the sum of border compliance hours and documentary compliance hours.

iv Time taken to import is the sum of border compliance hours and documentary compliance hours.

1 World Trade Organization. (2014). Agreement on Trade Facilitation. Available at: https://www.wto.org/english/docs_e/legal_e/tfa-nov14_e.htm.

World Trade Organization. (2013). Agreement on Trade Facilitation Ministerial Decision of 7 December 2013. Available at: https://www.wto.org/english/thewto_e/minist_e/mc9_e/bali_texts_combined_e.pdf#page=11.

3 Trade Facilitation Agreement Facility. (n.d.). Operational Guidelines. Available at: http://www.tfafacility.org/operational-guidelines.

4 World Trade Organization. (n.d.). Ninth WTO Ministerial Conference: Briefing Notes. Available at: https://www.wto.org/english/thewto_e/minist_e/mc9_e/balipackage_e.htm.

5 World Trade Organization. (2014). Agreement on Trade Facilitation. Available at: http://www.lki.lk/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/WTO_Agreement-on-Trade-Facilitation.pdf

6 World Trade Report 2015. (2015). Estimating the benefits of the Trade Facilitation Agreement. Available at: https://www.wto.org/english/res_e/booksp_e/world_trade_report15_e.pdf#page=75.

7 World Trade Report 2015. (2015). Estimating the benefits of the Trade Facilitation Agreement. Available at: https://www.wto.org/english/res_e/booksp_e/world_trade_report15_e.pdf#page=80.

8 World Trade Organization. (2015). World Trade Report 2015. Available at: https://www.wto.org/english/res_e/booksp_e/world_trade_report15_e.pdf#page=80.

9 Ibid.

10 World Trade Organization. (2015). World Trade Report 2015. Available at: https://www.wto.org/english/res_e/booksp_e/world_trade_report15_e.pdf#page=90.

11 Ibid.

12 Ibid.

13 Ibid.

14 Ibid.

15 World Trade Organization. (2015). Easing the Flow of Goods Across Borders: Trade Facilitation Agreement. Available at: https://www.wto.org/english/thewto_e/20y_e/wto_tradefacilitation_e.pdf#page=2.

16 World Trade Organization. (2014). Agreement on Trade Facilitation. Available at: https://www.wto.org/english/docs_e/legal_e/tfa-nov14_e.htm#art24.

17 World Trade Organization. (2014). Agreement on Trade Facilitation. Available at: https://www.wto.org/english/docs_e/legal_e/tfa-nov14_e.htm#art13.

18 Ibid.

19 World Trade Organization. (2017). WTO’s Trade Facilitation Agreement Enters into Force. Available at: https://www.wto.org/english/news_e/news17_e/fac_31jan17_e.htm.

20 World Trade Organization. (2017). Trade Facilitation Agreement Database. Available at: https://www.tfadatabase.org/.

21 Trade Facilitation Agreement Facility. (2017). Ratifications. Available at: http://www.tfafacility.org/ratifications.

22 World Trade Organization. (2014). Agreement on Trade Facilitation. Available at: https://www.wto.org/english/docs_e/legal_e/tfa-nov14_e.htm#art1.

23 World Trade Organization. (2014). Agreement on Trade Facilitation. Available at: https://www.wto.org/english/docs_e/legal_e/tfa-nov14_e.htm#art2.

24 World Trade Organization. (2014). Agreement on Trade Facilitation. Available at: https://www.wto.org/english/docs_e/legal_e/tfa-nov14_e.htm#art3.

25 World Trade Organization. (2014). Agreement on Trade Facilitation. Available at: https://www.wto.org/english/docs_e/legal_e/tfa-nov14_e.htm#art4.

26 World Trade Organization. (2014). Agreement on Trade Facilitation. Available at: https://www.wto.org/english/docs_e/legal_e/tfa-nov14_e.htm#art5.

27 The World Trade Organization. (2014). Agreement on Trade Facilitation. Available at: https://www.wto.org/english/docs_e/legal_e/tfa-nov14_e.htm#art6.

28 The World Trade Organization. (2014). Agreement on Trade Facilitation. Available at: https://www.wto.org/english/docs_e/legal_e/tfa-nov14_e.htm#art7.

29 The World Trade Organization. (2014). Agreement on Trade Facilitation. Available at: https://www.wto.org/english/docs_e/legal_e/tfa-nov14_e.htm#art8.

30 The World Trade Organization. (2014). Agreement on Trade Facilitation. Available at: https://www.wto.org/english/docs_e/legal_e/tfa-nov14_e.htm#art9.

31 The World Trade Organization. (2014). Agreement on Trade Facilitation. Available at: https://www.wto.org/english/docs_e/legal_e/tfa-nov14_e.htm#art10.

32 The World Trade Organization. (2014). Agreement on Trade Facilitation. Available at: https://www.wto.org/english/docs_e/legal_e/tfa-nov14_e.htm#art11.

33 The World Trade Organization. (2014). Agreement on Trade Facilitation. Available at: https://www.wto.org/english/docs_e/legal_e/tfa-nov14_e.htm#art12.

34 The World Trade Organization. (2014). Agreement on Trade Facilitation. Available at: https://www.wto.org/english/docs_e/legal_e/tfa-nov14_e.htm#art23.

35 Portugal-Perez, A. and Wilson, J. (2010). Export Performance and Trade Facilitation Reform: Hard and Soft Infrastructure. Available at: http://documents.worldbank.org/curated/en/232901468322759221/pdf/WPS5261.pdf#page=4.

36 Ibid.

37 The World Trade Organization. (2014). Agreement on Trade Facilitation. Available at: https://www.wto.org/english/docs_e/legal_e/tfa-nov14_e.htm#art13.

38 The World Trade Organization. (2014). Agreement on Trade Facilitation. Available at: https://www.wto.org/english/docs_e/legal_e/tfa-nov14_e.htm#art14.

39 The World Trade Organization. (2014). Agreement on Trade Facilitation. Available at: https://www.wto.org/english/docs_e/legal_e/tfa-nov14_e.htm#art15/.

40 Trade Facility Database. (2014). Notification of Category A Commitments Under the Agreement on Trade Faciitation. Available at: https://www.tfadatabase.org/uploads/notification/NLKA1.pdf.

41 The World Trade Organization. (2014). Agreement on Trade Facilitation. Available at: https://www.wto.org/english/docs_e/legal_e/tfa-nov14_e.htm#art16.

42 The Trade Facilitation Agreement Database. (2017). Notification of Category Commitments Under the Agreement on Trade Facilitation: Communication from Botswana. Available at: https://www.tfadatabase.org/uploads/notification/NBWA1_3.pdf.

43 The World Trade Organization. (2014). Agreement on Trade Facilitation. Available at: https://www.wto.org/english/docs_e/legal_e/tfa-nov14_e.htm#art16.

44 Trade Facilitation Agreement Database. (2016). Notification of Category A, B, and C Commitments Under the Agreement on Trade Facilitation: Communication from Zambia. Available at: https://www.tfadatabase.org/uploads/notification/NZMB1.pdf#page=3.

45 The World Trade Organization. (2014). Agreement on Trade Facilitation. Available at: https://www.wto.org/english/docs_e/legal_e/tfa-nov14_e.htm#art8.

46 The World Trade Organization. (2014). Agreement on Trade Facilitation. Available at: https://www.wto.org/english/docs_e/legal_e/tfa-nov14_e.htm#art16.

47 Trade Facilitation Agreement Facility. (2017). Donors and Organizations. Available at: http://www.tfafacility.org/implementation-support.

48 The World Trade Organization. (2014). Agreement on Trade Facilitation. Available at: https://www.wto.org/english/docs_e/legal_e/tfa-nov14_e.htm#art21.

49 The World Trade Organization. (2014). Agreement on Trade Facilitation. Available at: https://www.wto.org/english/docs_e/legal_e/tfa-nov14_e.htm#art23.

50 Ibid.

51 Ibid.

52 Trade Facilitation Agreement Facility. (2017). About the Facility. Available at: http://www.tfafacility.org/about-the-facility.

53 Ibid.

54 Ibid.

55 Ibid.

56 Ibid.

57 Trade Facilitation Agreement Facility. (n.d.). Trade Facilitation Agreement Facility Grants. Available at: http://www.tfafacility.org/tfaf-grants.

58 Ibid.

59 Portugal-Perez, A. and Wilson, J. (2010). Export Performance and Trade Facilitation Reform: Hard and Soft Infrastructure. Available at: http://documents.worldbank.org/curated/en/232901468322759221/pdf/WPS5261.pdf#page=4.

60 Trade Facilitation Agreement Facility. (n.d.). Annual Report 2016. Available at: http://www.tfafacility.org/annual-report-2016#Funds.

61 The World Bank. (n.d.). Trade Facilitation Support Program. Available at: http://www.worldbank.org/en/programs/trade-facilitation-support-program.

62 The World Bank. (n.d.). Trade Facilitation Support Program. Available at: http://www.worldbank.org/en/programs/trade-facilitation-support-program#4.

63 Ibid.

64 World Bank. (n.d.). Trade Facilitation Support Program. Available at: http://www.worldbank.org/en/programs/trade-facilitation-support-program#2.

65 The World Bank. (n.d.). Trade Facilitation Support Program. Available at: http://www.worldbank.org/en/programs/trade-facilitation-support-program#3.

66 The Global Alliance for Trade Facilitation. (n.d.). About the Alliance. Available at: http://www.tradefacilitation.org/about-the-alliance.html.

67 Ibid.

68 The Global Alliance for Trade Facilitation. (n.d.). Frequently Asked Questions: What is the Global Alliance for Trade Facilitation?. Available at: http://www.tradefacilitation.org/faq.html.

69 Ibid.

70 Ibid.

71 Portugal-Perez, A. and Wilson, J. (2010). Export Performance and Trade Facilitation Reform: Hard and Soft Infrastructure. Available at: http://documents.worldbank.org/curated/en/232901468322759221/pdf/WPS5261.pdf#page=27.

72 The World Trade Organization. (2014). Agreement on Trade Facilitation. Available at: https://www.wto.org/english/docs_e/legal_e/tfa-nov14_e.htm#annex1.

73 Ghosh, J. (2014). India faces criticism for blocking global trade deal, but is it justified?. The Guardian. Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/poverty-matters/2014/aug/22/india-criticism-blocking-global-trade-deal.

74 Ibid.

75 Global Trade Alert. (2017). Global Dynamics. Available at: http://www.globaltradealert.org/global_dynamics.

76 Elliott, L. (2013). Bali trade agreement: WTO set the bar high but has achieved little. The Guardian. Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/business/economics-blog/2013/dec/06/wto-development-deal-two-decades.

77 McClanahan, P. (2013). Trade facilitation: breaking down barriers to international commerce. The Guardian. Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2013/apr/22/trade-facilitation-barriers-international-commerce.

78 Trade Facilitation Agreement Facility. (2017). Ratifications. Available at: http://www.tfafacility.org/ratifications.

79 OECD Trade Facilitation Indicators. (2017). Compare Your Country. Available at: http://www.oecd.org/trade/facilitation/indicators.htm.

80 The World Trade Organization. (2015). World Trade Report 2015. Available at: https://www.wto.org/english/res_e/booksp_e/world_trade_report15_e.pdf#page=80.

81 Wijayasiri, J. (2016). Trade is Not Just for Big Businesses: Role of Sri Lankan SMEs in Trade. DailyFT. Available at: http://www.ips.lk/talkingeconomics/2016/11/28/trade-is-not-just-for-big-businesses-role-of-sri-lankan-smes-in-trade/.

82 Ibid.

83 Trade Facilitation Agreement Database. (2017). Member Profile: Sri Lanka. Available at: https://www.tfadatabase.org/members/sri-lanka.https://www.tfadatabase.org/members/sri-lanka.

84 Ibid.

85 United Nations Conference on Trade and Development. (2017). Trade Facilitation Body: The Case of Sri Lanka. Available at: http://unctad.org/en/DTL/TLB/Pages/TF/Committees/detail.aspx?country=LK.

86 Ibid.

87 Economy Next. (2016). Sri Lanka Customs ‘Single Window’ Seen Reducing Costs. Available at:  http://economynext.com/Sri_Lanka_Customs_%E2%80%98Single_Window%E2%80%99_seen_reducing_costs-3-3977-1.html.

88 Word Customs Organization. (n.d.). Case Study National Committee on Trade Facilitation Sri Lanka. Available at: http://www.wcoomd.org/-/media/wco/public/global/pdf/topics/wto-atf/national-committees-on-trade-facilitation/case-study_sri-lanka-rev-en.pdf?la=en#page=2.

89 Trade Facilitation Agreement Facility. (2017). National Committees on Trade Facilitation: Current Practices and Challenges. Available at: https://www.tfafacility.org/sites/default/files/news/tfa_national_committees_trade_facilitation_web_e.pdf#page=27.

90 Trade Facilitation Agreement Facility. (2017). National Committees on Trade Facilitation: Current Practices and Challenges. Available at: https://www.tfafacility.org/sites/default/files/news/tfa_national_committees_trade_facilitation_web_e.pdf#page=25.

91 Trade Facilitation Agreement Facility. (2017). Sri Lanka. Available at: http://www.tfafacility.org/sri-lanka.

92 Landmark Agreement Enters into Force. (2017). World Bank Group Trade Facilitation Support Program Newsletter, (Volume 1, Number 1), p.2. Available at: http://pubdocs.worldbank.org/en/404991487774360163/TFSP-Newsletter-vol-1-v9.pdf#page=2.

93 The Global Alliance for Trade Facilitation. (2017). The Alliance on the Ground. Available at: http://www.tradefacilitation.org/the-alliance-on-the-ground.html.

94 Ibid.

95 Ibid.

96 Aid for Trade. (2017). Sri Lanka: Aid for Trade at a Glance 2017. Available at: http://www.oecd.org/aidfortrade/countryprofiles/Sri_Lanka.pdf.

97 Ibid.

98 Aid for Trade. (2015). Nepal: Aid for Trade at a Glance 2015. Available at: http://www.oecd.org/aidfortrade/countryprofiles/Nepal.pdf.

99 Aid for Trade. (2015). Bangladesh: Aid for Trade at a Glance 2015. Available at: http://www.oecd.org/aidfortrade/countryprofiles/Bangladesh.pdf.

100 World Bank Group. (2017). Trading Across Borders: Doing Business Indicators. Available at: http://www.doingbusiness.org/data/exploretopics/trading-across-borders.

101 International Trade Centre. (2011). Sri Lanka: Company Perspectives. An ITC Series on Non-Tariff Measures. Available at: http://www.intracen.org/uploadedFiles/intracenorg/Content/Publications/NTM%20Report_Sri%20Lanka.pdf#page=45

102 Daily FT. (2016). EU, UN launch Rs. 1 billion Project to Boost SL trade. Available at: http://www.ft.lk/article/580291/EU–UN-launch–Rs–1-billion-project-to-boost-SL-trade.

103 World Trade Organization. (2015). World Trade Report 2015. Available at: https://www.wto.org/english/res_e/booksp_e/world_trade_report15_e.pdf#page=137.

104 Albert, E. (2016). Competition in the Indian Ocean. Council on Foreign Relations. Available at: https://www.cfr.org/backgrounder/competition-indian-ocean.

105 OECD. (2017). Aid for Trade Facilitation Data. Available at: http://www.oecd.org/aidfortrade/data/aidfortradefacilitation.htm.

106 Ibid.

107 Trade Facilitation Agreement Facility. (2017). National Committees on Trade Facilitation: Current Practices and Challenges. Available at: https://www.tfafacility.org/sites/default/files/news/tfa_national_committees_trade_facilitation_web_e.pdf#page=18.

108 Vietnam Customs. (2016). Action Plan for Implementation of Commitments under the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement. Available at: https://www.customs.gov.vn/Lists/EnglishNews/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=515&Category=News%20and%20Events&language=en-US.

109 Trade Facilitation Agreement Facility. (n.d.). Annual Report 2016: Matchmaking and Funding Activities. Available at: http://www.tfafacility.org/annual-report-2016#Matchmaking and Funding Activities.

Abbreviations

FDI                  Foreign Direct Investment
GDP                 Gross Domestic Product
GVCs               Global Value Chains
LDCs               Least Developed Countries
NTFC               National Trade Facilitation Committee
OECD              Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
SMEs               Small and Medium-Size Enterprises
TFA                 Trade Facilitation Agreement
TFAF               Trade Facilitation Agreement Facility
TFSP                Trade Facilitation Support Program
WTO                World Trade Organization

*Dinuka Malith was a Research and Communications Assistant at the Lakshman Kadirgamar Institute of International Relations and Strategic Studies (LKI) in Colombo, and Anishka De Zylva is a Research Associate at LKI. The authors acknowledge the assistance of Amjad Hamza, Research and Communications Assistant, and of other colleagues at LKI. The opinions expressed in this publication, and any errors or omissions, are the authors’ own.

Year:

  • 2017

Author:

  • Dinuka Malith and Anishka De Zylva

Languages:

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