Establishing a National Single Window is Crucial for Achieving Deeper Integration with ASEAN – Dr Asanka Wijesinghe

3 July 2024

“Modern free trade agreements go beyond trade in goods and tariff reduction. They address the barriers to trade like customs and border procedures producing public goods through non-tariff commitments. Thus, trade cost reduction through modern deep free trade agreements happens on both fronts, with a reduction of tariff costs and costs in customs and border procedures.” These insights were shared by IPS Research Fellow Dr Asanka Wijesinghe at the National Single Window System (NSWS) workshop and panel discussion organised by USAID and the Department of Trade and Investment Policy on 3 July 2024.

Sri Lanka’s current push for free trade agreements with ASEAN economies aims to enhance trade facilitation measures including the establishment of a NSWS. Countries like Jamaica, Rwanda, and Cambodia have successfully established TNSWS, with Cambodia adopting a phased approach to onboard relevant agencies. For Sri Lanka, establishing a NSWS is crucial for achieving deeper integration with ASEAN countries, which use NSWS and share data through the ASEAN Single Window (ASW).

The panelists included Dr Asanka Wijesinghe, Mr Rohan Masakorala, CEO, Shippers’ Academy Colombo, Ms Subhashini Abeysinghe, Head of Economics, Verite Research, Mr Dhananath Fernando, CEO, Advocata Institute and Dinesh De Silva, Senior Trade Facilitation Expert, Ceylon Chamber of Commerce.