TFA would transform Indian trade: Sitharaman
The Dollar Business Bureau
The government, on Monday, said that the ratification of the Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) will transform the Indian trade and bring transparency in trade process; thereby giving impetus to the country’s ease of doing business initiatives.
“The TFA envisages faster clearances and reduction of red tapism at the borders and would thereby help in the ease of doing business,” Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, said on Tuesday.
In her words, the TFA ratification, once put in place, will enable the member countries to share best trade practices. “While we have made rapid strides in streamlining our processes on the line of international best practices, we need to ensure speedy legislation, so that there are visible beneficial outcomes,” She stated.
Addressing the Consultative Committee Meeting on Implementation of TFA, Sitharaman mentioned that the consultation process to implement the different provisions of the TFA would include the industry and its various associations.
The TFA is expected to enable domestic manufacturers, especially, small and medium enterprises, and integrate them into regional and global value chain. The agreement would also encourage member countries to simplify their trade procedures and help foster cross-border trade, which will boost the overall trade and investment environment.
“The TFA contains provisions for expediting the movement, and release and clearance of goods, including goods in transit. It also sets-out measures for effective cooperation between customs and other appropriate authorities on trade facilitation and customs compliance issues,” she added. The TFA is estimated to cut the cost of trade by roughly 14.5%, which can leave a bigger impact than eliminating all remaining tariffs.
India officially endorsed the TFA at the World Trade Organisation (WTO), 22nd April, by becoming the 76th country to ratify the pact. So far, 77 nations have endorsed the TFA, with Russia becoming the latest member. The TFA will officially come into force after two-thirds of its members accept the agreement.