Discussing operational models and current progress of the NSW blueprint project in Sri Lanka, Samaranayake added that the project is being developed under eight task clusters which include governance and operational models, legal and regulatory, service level agreements, revenue model and fee structure, technical and functional architecture, business process re-engineering change management and communications, risk management strategy and implementation and capacity building.
The objective of the NSW is to set up a facility which allows parties involved in trade and transport to lodge information and documents with a single entry point to fulfill all import, export and transit-related regulatory requirements.
Also, the implementation of the NSW will assist traders to enhance accountability and transparency, while it will also reduce time and costs currently spent in preparing and submitting information and documents to multiple border regulatory agencies. Noting that the NSW initiative requires a lot of consultation, collaboration with different stakeholders, she said that implementation is much more complex process than compiling the blueprint.
“There have been a lot of discussions and consultations that have been done for the blueprint process, which took about seven months from November last year.”World Bank expects that once the blueprint is completed, there would be a program setup for acquisition and procurement, which then goes to implementation and operational phase of the NSW.
She also revealed that the World Bank has been requested to support the acquisition phase by the Government, and currently the bank is exploring the possibility of financing this possibly through a project that looks at overall trade and logistics environment.
She also mentioned that world bank has already shared Governance and operational model of NSW blueprint in March, this year while data harmonization,risk management and revenue and fee models of this initiative has also been shared in June, 2018 with relevant authorities. Speaking at the event, Seetha Senaratne, Additional Secretary of Ministry of Industry and Commerce said, “The implementation of the NSW is also an obligation of the country under the WTO trade facilitation agreement which Sri Lanka has already ratified.
“The government is also thinking of cross-border facilitation as a national priority.We expect that the NSW will reduce the time and cost currently spent by traders in preparing and submitting information and documentations to multiple border agencies.”Identifying the crucial role played by the SMEs in Sri Lankan economy, Senaratne said the Ministry of Industry and Commerce has developed an action plan for SME development and NSW also strongly underlines the importance of bringing benefits to the businesses especially SMEs by facilitating trade and reducing the cost of trading cross borders while allowing SMEs to make most of the potential opportunities especially under the EU generalized scheme of preferences