2010 World Economic Forum on East Asia

14 June 2010

2010 World Economic Forum on East Asia

Vietnam, 5-7 June 2010

Report

WCO Secretary General, Kunio Mikuriya, spoke about Customs’ contribution to greater connectivity at the World Economic Forum on East Asia that was held in Ho Chi Minh City (Vietnam) from 5-7 June 2010.

With the progress in the ASEAN Free Trade Area and a series of Free Trade Agreements with neighbouring countries, market access opportunities have considerably increased in the ASEAN region. However, borders continue to divide and how best Customs can facilitate connectivity inside the region and beyond is the main challenge for the ASEAN region.

Secretary General Mikuriya explained the reality on the borders where Customs and many government agencies are collecting information for risk management purposes in order to implement national policy and regulations that ensure the health and safety of citizens and security, while facilitating legitimate trade. He therefore recommended a coordinated border management approach designating Customs as a lead agency for the Single Window to enable Customs and related agencies to carry out risk assessment and coordinated control while providing benefits to compliant traders. He also stressed the importance of connecting Customs for better sharing of information as this would contribute to the ideal of a globally networked Customs. The session also discussed supply chain security where the Secretary General explained the WCO and Customs’ efforts in this regard.

Mr. Mikuriya also chaired a private session on the “Open Border” where Mr. Do Hoang Anh Tuan, Vietnam’s Deputy Minister of Finance, and Mr. Nguyen Ngoc Tuc, the Acting Director General of Customs, discussed with business participants how best they can support Customs modernization initiatives currently underway in Vietnam. Participants agreed to continue their dialogue in a positive manner.

Whilst in Vietnam, the Secretary General took the opportunity to visit Tan Cang Cat Lai Port to observe the operation of newly installed scanners in a modern container port environment.