13th WCO Asia Pacific Regional Heads of Customs Conference

03 May 2010

13th WCO Asia Pacific Regional Heads of Customs Conference

Seoul (Korea), 27-30 April 2010

Report

At the invitation of Commissioner Yoon Young-Sun of the Korea Customs Service, WCO Secretary General, Kunio Mikuriya, attended the 13th WCO Asia Pacific Regional Heads of Customs Conference in Seoul (Korea) which was held from 27-30 April 2010.

After hearing a progress report from the WCO, delegates reviewed the advancement of the Regional Strategic Plan and subsequently adopted its new version for the next three years. Members of the region then shared experiences and deepened their understanding of Customs in the 21st Century (C21) by organizing three panel sessions dealing with intelligence-driven risk management, coordinated border management, and capacity building. Secretary General Mikuriya appreciated the feedback on the C21 agenda and provided a WCO overview on the issue. The Heads of Customs expressed their thanks for the active vice-chairmanship of Korea over the past two years and elected Thailand as the next Vice-Chair. They also endorsed the establishment of a new Regional Training Center in Korea.

During his visit to Korea, Secretary General Mikuriya met Mr. Jeung-Hyun Yoon, Korea’s Finance Minister, who spoke about Korea's strategy to overcome the global financial crisis and its post crisis management scheme in his capacity as Chair of G20 Finance Ministers Meeting. The Minister also thanked the WCO for its active communication with the G20 last year, particularly the WCO’s promotion of anti-protectionism and trade facilitation. Minister Yoon encouraged the WCO to continue its efforts to enhance capacity building for developing countries as this would also benefit trade facilitation. The Secretary General thanked the Minister for his support for the global Customs community and for Korea's significant contribution during its term as representative of the WCO Asia Pacific Region over the past two years, and wished Korea much success in hosting the G20 Summit in Seoul later this year.

Secretary General Mikuriya also had a bilateral meeting with Vice-Minister Sun Yibiao of China Customs who pledged enhanced cooperation with the WCO, including increased contribution of human resources and hosting of WCO events in China.