Release of the Study Report "NTMs in South Asia: Assessment and Analysis"


Release of the Study Report \"NTMs in South Asia: Assessment and Analysis\"

Date: Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Honorable Minister for Commerce, Mr. Tofail Ahmed, M. P., today officially launched the study report “NTMs in South Asia: Assessment and Analysis”. The program was organized jointly by Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Dhaka (MCCI) along with the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI), SME Foundation, and Export Promotion Bureau.

The study on Non Tariff Measures (NTMs) was initiated by the Working Group on Regional Trade Facilitation (WG-RTF) of SAARC Trade Promotion Network (SAARC-TPN)  in late 2012, and was conducted by Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Dhaka (MCCI) in partnership with South Asian Network on Economic Modeling (SANEM).


1 SAARC-TPN is an active network of 28 key public (Department of Trade, Export Promotion Agencies) and private sector (Apex bodies, Chambers of Commerce) organizations working in trade related areas from all SAARC countries. It aims at the promotion of intra-regional trade in the SAARC region. The official partner of the project is SAARC Secretariat. This network is supported by technical assistance of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, which acts on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).The members of SAARC-TPN are: SAARC Information Centre (SIC), SAARC Chamber of Commerce & Industry (SCCI), SAARC Chamber of Women Entrepreneurs (SCWEC). Afghanistan: Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Industries (ACCI), Export Promotion Agency of Afghanistan (EPAA). Bangladesh: Export Promotion Bureau (EPB), Federation of Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce & Industry (FBCCI), Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce & Industry (MCCI), Small and Medium Enterprise Foundation (SME Foundation). Bhutan: Bhutan Chamber of Commerce & Industry (BCCI), Department of Trade (DOT). India: Confederation of Indian Industries (CII), Federation of Indian Chamber of Commerce & Industry (FICCI), Federation of Indian Micro and Small & Medium Enterprises (FISME). Maldives: Ministry of Economic Development (MoED), Maldives National Chamber of Commerce & Industry (MNCCI). Nepal: Confederation of Nepalese Industry (CNI), Federation of Nepalese Chamber of Commerce & Industry (FNCCI), Federation of Nepal Cottage & Small Industries (FNCSI), Ministry of Commerce and Supplies (MoCS), Trade and Export Promotion Centre (TEPC). Pakistan: Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FPCCI), Lahore Chamber Of Commerce & Industry (LCCI), Small and Medium Enterprise Development Authority (SMEDA). Sri Lanka: Department of Commerce, Sri Lanka (DoC), Ceylon Chamber of Commerce (CCC), Federation of Chamber of Commerce & Industry of Sri Lanka (FCCISL), National Chamber of Commerce of Sri Lanka (NCCSL)

The study provides a comprehensive view on NTMs and how they give rise to non-tariffs barriers (NTBs), which is an outcome of an extensive exercise with private and public sector organizations and enterprises, which are facing problem arising from NTMs. The study report and the recommendations on NTMs are published by SAARC-TPN with the technical support from GIZ, with further financial support from the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT).

This report is the result of extensive consultation with over 30 public and private organizations ranging from ministries, government offices, trade bodies, and research organizations in the region, and interviews with more than a hundred individuals. Our researchers traveled to the 8 member-countries of SAARC to find their respective views on intra-regional trade. The study was done under the guidance and course corrections from all the 28 TPN member organizations and external experts (researches, academicians and business community). It incorporates those reviews and feedbacks, and present the key findings and other expected deliverables. The report along with the joint inputs from all 28 partners of SAARC-TPN has also been the major source for the list of recommendations on NTMs reduction for consideration by SAFTA Committee of Experts (CoE) on NTMs.

The major outputs of the study are reflected in the report, which are as follows:

(a)    Country-specific inventory of NTMs for all 8 countries in SAARC;

(b)    An analysis of export potential versus actual bilateral trade with India for each country in the region;

(c)    Country-specific list of products that have supply capacity but no or limited intra-region export, and the corresponding NTMs that could be further examined for possible trade expansion;

(d)    A simulation of welfare gain, if transaction costs related to NTMs are reduced;

(e)    A unique tool and framework to monitor the NTMs in the region on a regular basis; and

(f)    A set of policy recommendations for the region, which have been recently submitted to the SAFTA Committee of Experts for their consideration and subsequent submission to the recently held SAFTA Ministerial in Thimphu.

As recommended during the course of the study, 4 specialized desks for regularly monitoring the NTMs have already been established in 4 countries (Bangladesh, India, Nepal and Pakistan) and similar desks will be replicated in the remaining SAARC countries. The purpose of those NTM desks is to establish a sustainable mechanism for regular monitoring and reporting of NTMs, and to use the information as the basis for policy advocacy for removing and reducing the non-tariff related trade barriers in the region. These desks will be helpful in making timely decisions and identifying NTMs and the resulting trade barriers and the problems which are being faced by the traders in the South Asian countries.