Bangladesh, India, Nepal & Sri Lanka for cost cut in remittance

At the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) ongoing 13th Ministerial Conference (MC13), Bangladesh, India, Nepal, and Sri Lanka jointly presented a message yesterday asking for a work plan on simplifying cross-border remittances.

India originally sent the message during the second week of February. Following their support for the Indian action, Bangladesh, Nepal, and Sri Lanka collectively submitted an updated communication to be included in the ministerial decisions.

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) city of Abu Dhabi is hosting the WTO’s MC13. The four-day high-level conference officially began on Monday morning at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC) and is expected to conclude on Thursday.

The four nations requested that the MC13 give the WTO Committee on Trade in Financial Services instructions to carry out a work program covering six sectors, in light of the committee’s intention to host a thematic session on the “cost of remittances” in March 2024.

The six areas are as follows: (i) Understand the development impact of cross-border remittances; (ii) Review the cost of cross-border remittances, trends and developments; (iii) Consider how technology, emergence of new market players, different types of providers and new channels, and consumer behaviour are impacting the cross-border remittance services; (iv) Examine the drivers of cost of cross-border remittances and challenges associated with reducing it; (v) Identify the opportunities created for lowering the cost of cross-border remittances including on account of digitalisation, and emergence of new technologies; (vi) Explore ways to address the challenges and utilise the opportunities related to lowering the cost of remittance services.
The four countries also recommended that the WTO committee maintain a standing agenda item in its meeting, and hold dedicated sessions, to implement the work program with a view to suggest steps that could be taken towards reducing the cost of remittances to the Council for Trade in Services which in turn will report to the General Council.

In this regard, the four members emphasized that MC13 directs the General Council to examine the results of the work program and provide a report to MC14 that includes important conclusions, actions done, and recommendations.

The four nations stated in the communication document that cross-border remittances, particularly in developing nations like the Least Developed Countries (LDCs), have a major positive impact on the socioeconomic development of households and communities.

This article has been posted by a News Hour Correspondent. For queries, please contact through [email protected]
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