WCO Secretary General meets the President of Uzbekistan

06 May 2010

Visit of the WCO Secretary General to Uzbekistan

3-4 May 2010

Report

At the invitation of the Asian development Bank (ADB), WCO Secretary General Kunio Mikuriya visited Tashkent, Uzbekistan from 3-4 May 2010 to attend the 43rd ADB Annual Meeting which was hosted by the government of Uzbekistan.

During his visit to Uzbekistan, Secretary General Mikuriya and President Karimov of the Republic of Uzbekistan held bilateral talks on regional Customs cooperation on 4 May. The President appreciated the participation of the Secretary General in the ADB Annual Meeting which supported development in Central Asia. While pointing out Uzbekistan’s difficult geopolitical situation as a double landlocked country, President Karimov shared his country’s gradual approach to liberalize trade as this would generate more employment for people. To realize his vision, the President underlined the importance of supporting the private sector, especially small and medium sized enterprises, as the source of economic development. He also emphasized the need to promote investment and improve education for the future of his country. Secretary General Mikuriya explained the role Customs can play in addressing the priorities of the President while responding to the challenge of Customs in the 21st Century and its expanding mission. He suggested that a regional cooperation programme such as the CAREC (Central Asian Regional Economic Cooperation) which is coordinated by the ADB could be a good forum to shape the regional agenda. In this regard he pledged his full support.

President Karimov appreciated recent WCO activities and promised to contribute more to the activities of the regional and global Customs community. In this connection, Secretary General Mikuriya shared his impression on the Customs Training Institute that he visited the previous day where young students showed their motivation as well as their good level of English and other foreign languages to serve as an interface with foreign trade. He also expressed his appreciation for the President’s initiative to allow Uzbekistan’s national “detective” dog training centre to be used as a WCO regional training centre for foreign Customs officers to undergo dog handler training. Secretary General Mikuriya also mentioned his visit to Customs headquarters the previous day where he met the Director General of Customs, Mr. S. Nasirov, and handed out certificates to 30 officers chosen from Customs offices around the country for their good performance.

After the meeting with the President, Secretary General Mikuriya spoke at the ADB seminar on transport and trade facilitation in the CAREC and emphasized the essential role played by Customs and the benefit of cooperation with the ADB (Click here to see his presentation). Secretary General Mikuriya and ADB President Haruhiko Kuroda later signed an MOU to enhance the partnership between the two organizations. (Click here to read the Press Release of 4 May).