ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s cross-border index trading rank jumped from 142nd to 111th by 31 positions due to the substantially improved execution of many steps, the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) said on Tuesday.
The improvement is related to the continuing changes that have led to enormous developments in cross-border trade. The FBR’s announcement did not specify the year in which it measured the index.
The official announcement claimed that the FBR encouraged cross-border trading by focusing on three main areas: improving the incorporation of multiple agencies into the Web-Based One Customs (WeBOC) electronic system; reducing the amount of documents needed for import/export clearances; and enhancing Pakistan Customs officials’ capacity to play a pro-active role in smoothly controlling border trade.
Climbing up the ladder in the Trading Across Border Index has helped Pakistan to leap 28 places in the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business Index 2020 from 136th to 108th and secure a position among the top 10 countries that have done the most to improve the ease of doing business in their countries in the corresponding/past year.
This achievement led Pakistan to be the sixth global reformer and the first in South Asia to make it easier for national/international exchange to do business.
It is important to note that, as per the detailed policy laid down by the government, border facilitation is among the top priority areas. Concerted efforts by Pakistan Customs led to impressive success in accordance with the terms of the Trade Facilitation Arrangement of the World Trade Organisation, thereby complementing the growth of Pakistan in the border index.
Efficient customs controls have been followed by Pakistan Customs, ensuring that compliant trade is fully encouraged, although less/non-compliant trade is diverted to comprehensive scrutiny. This policy performed well and by increasing the percentage of clearances through the Green Channel, the FBR observed, has gone a long way in reducing the dwelling time (at the borders/ports) for imports/exports in Pakistan.
For example, the time needed for documentary export enforcement has been reduced from 55 hours to 24 hours, and the time required for total border compliance from 75 hours to 24 hours has also been reduced.