July 19, 2018 (LBO) – Sri Lanka will unveil one of the biggest initiatives in its international trade history when the Department of Commerce launches the World Bank supported Sri Lanka Trade Information Portal (SLTIP) on Friday in Colombo.
World Bank supported Trade Information Portals (TIP) across the world provide information that traders need to import and export goods, including information on permits, laws, and taxes.
TIP provides the much-needed transparency which leads to lower trade costs and improved predictability, and it is a key objective of international agreements like the World Trade Organization’s Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA).
The World Bank Group has supported TIPs in more than a dozen countries (Vietnam, was the last country to join, prior to Sri Lanka’s joining on 20 July) using a custom-built software platform.
TIP publishes all laws, regulations, and procedures affecting trade while also functioning as inquiry points on trade, repositories of information on trade in services or non-tariff measures.
Some of SLTIP’s features include an overview of Sri Lanka’s economy, business startup process, import and export guide, as well as information on special economic areas, export processing zones, cross-border trade and GSP automation; international, regional and bilateral trade agreements to which Sri Lanka is a party.
It also includes applicable rules and requirements as well as associated benefits; a selection of websites of international organizations or institutions that can bring further support to overseas expansion and tools allowing exporters to perform trade potential analysis, desk research and market surveys.
The portal is also expected to improve trade regulations themselves, as stakeholders are now able to easily identify the complexity of current regulations and procedures when applied to commodities and to suggest areas of modernization and simplification.