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Bangladesh trade costs highest in South Asia: Survey

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Desk Report: According to a research focused on shift to paperless trading, Trade cost as a share of trade revenue in Bangladesh remained highest in South Asia on the back of higher total transport expenses.

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The study, styled Quantitative Analysis of the Move to Paperless Trade, conducted by the Commonwealth Secretariat, shows that the trade cost in the country was over 80 per cent of trade revenues in the year 2020.

The survey was conducted on the 54 Commonwealth economies having more than $5.0-trillion trade (imports and exports). This is just 80 per cent in Pakistan and more than 60 per cent in India and Sri Lanka. This is less than 20 per cent in the UK and over 20 per cent in Singapore, Canada and New Zealand.

Report notes, “public sentiment across emerging Asia, particularly Bangladesh and Malaysia, was seen as a potential obstacle to rapid adoption or reforms in reducing the trade costs”.

The report also seeks solution to the current challenges facing Commonwealth nations in implementing paperless trade by means of qualitative desk research, discourse analysis and semi-structured in-depth interviews. The documentary-compliance cost in Bangladesh also remained over $200 for a $25,000 shipment. Bangladesh to import more than 1mn bales of cotton from US  says USDA report

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