Sri Lanka losing competitiveness owing to e-commerce delays

ECONOMYNEXT – Lengthy delays in switching to electronic documentation has led to a Sri Lanka’s export competitiveness being eroded, according to the findings of Verité Research, a think-tank, the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce has warned.

One of the key bottlenecks that hamper successful implementation of a paperless trading platform is the non-acceptance of electronic documents, it said in a statement.

This was because of the perceived inability to accept electronic signatures in situations where a signature is required for processing, according to a round-table discussion on the topic between stakeholders from private sector organizations and government institutions responsible for critical nodes in the trade process.

The forum, chaired by Dinesh de Silva, Chairman of the Import Section of the Chamber, sought to create a discussion between the private sector and the government on “the growing gap in trade efficiency and competitiveness between Sri Lanka and its regional counterparts,” the statement said.

“This efficiency is due to cumbersome trade processes and the low level of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) integration.

“Sri Lanka, traditionally a more efficient and low cost alternative to its South Asian competitors in terms of trade and logistics, has continued to steadily lose ground as a result,” the Chamber said.

“The recent efforts to introduce a paperless trading platform to enhance efficiency of cross border transactions has had limited impact due to a lack of consensus and initiative among stakeholders.”

The Chamber said both public and private stakeholders have a role to play in remedying the non-acceptance of electronic documents and electronic signatures.
(COLOMBO, October 24, 2016)
 

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