Co-operation with The Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation, NORAD
On 25 February 2009 the Director of the CBD, Mr. Lars Karlsson welcomed Mr. Tore Selvig and Ms. Elisabeth Sollner from The Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation, NORAD at the WCO Secretariat.
This was the first visit after the signature of an agreement between NORAD and the WCO upon implementation of Capacity Building activities under the WCO Columbus Programme of total 2 Million NOK.
Thanks to this investment by NORAD the CBD was enabled to develop 9 country specific diagnostics and to conduct 5 activities of managerial or strategic assistance in Sub Saharan Africa and South East Asia. It further ensures the funding of 13 Capacity Building activities in first half of 2009 as part of the comprehensive Columbus Programme.
Mr. Tore Selvig from NORAD welcomed the successful results achieved so far which lays a common ground for a dialogue on future co-operation with the WCO. He stressed the importance of Customs Capacity Building for economic growth in developing countries highlighting the great importance that NORAD attaches to Aid for Trade developments. Mr. Tore Selvig shared his vision of Customs services as core pillar in achievement of trade enhancement and he raised the need of a cooperative and complementary role of the WCO to the WCO Trade Facilitation agenda.
Mr. Lars Karlsson expressed his appreciation towards NORAD and welcomed the constructive dialogue and fruitful co-operation. He addressed special thanks to the Norwegian Directorate of Customs and Excise since more than 50% of the programme activities got implemented with support of Norwegian experts.