International trade data are the foundational basis when formulating trade policies and assessing their impacts. Trade data is vital for firms engaging in international trade to make sound business decisions. Unfortunately, when compared to regional and international best practice, Sri Lanka is failing to use trade data effectively for the benefit of the country.
This policy note unpacks the importance of free and online access to trade data and highlights the problems of Sri Lanka Customs (SLCs) restrictive data dissemination policy. These hurdles, which must be resolved, have caused Sri Lanka to lag behind regional peers that have made considerable attempts to make their trade data free and easily accessible.