President unveils series of digitalized systems to accelerate Sri Lanka’s global trade - Opportunity Sri Lanka
President unveils series of digitalized systems to accelerate Sri Lanka’s global trade

President unveils series of digitalized systems to accelerate Sri Lanka’s global trade

Daily FT: The International Trade Centre (ITC), in partnership with the Deutsche Gesellschaft für International Zusammenarbeit (GIZ Sri Lanka) proudly unveiled a transformative suite of digital platforms poised to revolutionize the landscape for Sri Lankan SMEs engaged in international trade.
The platforms were officially launched by President Ranil Wickremesinghe at an event organized by ITC and GIZ together with the Presidential Secretariat in Colombo recently.
The four game-changing systems are set to empower SMEs to soar to new heights of success and competitiveness in the global market. They include the e-Certificate of Origin (e-CoO) System at the Department of Commerce (DoC), the Electronic Payment Gateway at the National Plant Quarantine Service (NPQS) of the Ministry of Agriculture, the digitalization of the Registration and Monitoring of Organic Agriculture-Related Stakeholders at the National Organic Control Unit (NOCU), and the Development of a Progress Monitoring Tool for the National Trade Facilitation Committee (NTFC).
The fully digitalized e-CoO system streamlines the issuance of Preferential Certificates of Origin, crucial for establishing goods’ origin and eligibility for trade agreement benefits. The system remarkably reduces the CoO issuance time by 93%, with the processing time reduced to just 30 minutes, which saves considerable costs and lowers the carbon footprint, fostering an eco-friendly trade by obviating multiple trips and paper documentation.
The e-Payment Gateway at the NPQS offers traders convenient and secure payment options, enabling swift transactions from any location. This advancement leads to an impressive 94%-time savings for businesses, eliminating the need for time-consuming in-person payments. Furthermore, the system includes analytics and reporting tools for informed decision-making.
The NOCU’s digital Registration and Monitoring system streamlines organic stakeholder registration and certification, ensuring smooth compliance and supply chain continuity. This platform empowers stakeholders to effortlessly register and monitor certifications online, saving 96% of their time and approximately Rs. 50,000 per registration.
The Progress Reporting and Monitoring Tool for the NTFC tracks trade reforms in real time, aiding strategic decisions. It connects border agencies, NTFC members, donors, and businesses for smooth information flow, coordination, and effective facilitation efforts.
The initiatives are implemented with the technical assistance of ITC and GIZ, within the framework of the Trade Facilitation for SMEs project funded by the German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).

OSL take:
The overall expansion in Sri Lanka’s economy has opened up new business/investment opportunities in the country’s ICT and digital infrastructure development sectors. The government of Sri Lanka is also focused on transforming the country into an e-economy with the country’s President himself underlining the need to digitalize key sectors in the state sector. This is mooted as a move to improve the country’s ease of doing business environment as well as to further promote business transactions between Sri Lanka and foreign countries. Hence, there has been a vast expansion in the business/investment opportunities in Sri Lanka’s ICT and digital infrastructure development sectors. The growth and profits recorded by the local businesses in the sectors are also encouraging signs for foreign businesses/investors to explore the growing opportunities in these sectors. With much foreign funding been received by Sri Lanka for digitalization programmers, there are also funds available for projects in the ICT and digital infrastructure development sectors. Foreign businesses could also look at forming partnerships or joint ventures with local businesses in these sectors to expand operations and to carry out projects related to the sectors.

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Article Code : VBS/AT/20230824/Z_15

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