SME Times News Bureau | 19 Sep, 2019
Minister of Commerce and Industry Piyush Goyal said
that in a landmark move, the government is planning to launch a National
Logistics Policy to reduce trade costs.
All transport sectors of railways, civil aviation,
roads and shipping would work towards bringing logistics costs below 10%, he
Further, the National Committee on Trade
Facilitation is working proactively to ensure the improvement in trading
environment with reduced turnaround time and transaction costs.
The Minister was speaking at the 9th Asia-Pacific
Trade Facilitation Forum 2019 in New Delhi, organised by Department of Policy
for Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), Ministry of Commerce and Industry, and
Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).
With the Government introducing a plethora of
reforms including digitization of trade procedures and fulfilment of the
Sustainable Development Goals, India is on the pathway of achieving the goal of
USD five trillion economy, said the Minister.
He highlighted the importance of adopting a
collaborative and integrated approach at the Asia-Pacific level in combating
the common challenges of rapid urbanisation, climate change, poverty, and inequality,
Goyal reinforced the government’s strong commitment
to the ‘Act East Policy’ for integration of the Indo-Pacific Region.
Armida Salsiah Alisjahbana, Under-Secretary-General
of the United Nations and Executive Secretary of ESCAP, while stressing on the
importance of cross border digitisation stated that ‘digital and sustainable
trade facilitation needs to be supported as a source for good in the region and
She further mentioned that with trade being
recognised as one of the UN Sustainable Development Goals 2030, it is the need
of the hour to rationalize trade procedures, increase the adoption of WTO’s
Trade Facilitation Agreement across the Asia-Pacific Region, and leverage
e-commerce as the sector for the future.
Bambang Susantono, Vice-President, Asian
Development Bank, noted the need to address the various regulatory and
infrastructural bottlenecks being faced by industry.
He mentioned that in order to maximise economic
penetration access to jobs must be ensured, availability of trade finance must
be increased, and capacity development must be undertaken to streamline
procedures and reduce non-tariff barriers.
He stressed the importance of trade finance for
promoting gender equality and economic empowerment of SME’s.
The joint ADB-UNESCAP “Asia-Pacific Trade
Facilitation Report 2019: Bridging trade finance gaps through technology” was
launched at the conference. Mr Kenichi Yokoyama, Country Director of ADB’s
India Resident Mission, said that the digital trade facilitation agenda can be
taken forward while providing the requisite infrastructure and regulations for
greater interoperability and security.
Chandrajit Banerjee, Director General, CII,
mentioned that the strong inter-ministerial consensus in India on expansion of
infrastructure and adherence to global standards is commendable. He stated that
CII is committed to the government’s agenda of making the Asia -Pacific region
more integrated and globally competitive.