World Economic Forum on East Asia looks at open borders

14 June 2011

World Economic Forum on East Asia looks at open borders

Indonesia, 11-13 June 2011


At the invitation of the World Economic Forum (WEF), WCO Secretary General Kunio Mikuriya attended the WEF on East Asia 2011 held in Jakarta, Indonesia from 11-13 June 2011 where he participated in the panel session on "Open Borders: Building Trade Capacity in Emerging Economies" that included WTO Director General Pascal Lamy and three ministers of trade or tourism from Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore.

Following the debate on the global trade negotiations, the Secretary General explained that connectivity at borders had become important on the ground and that Customs is focusing on the supply chain to facilitate and secure global trade. He emphasized that Customs should get timely and quality information for risk management purposes, supported by information technology.

He also explained that Customs should enhance coordination with other national agencies involved in border regulation, supported by a Single Window. While commending the ASEAN Single Window initiative as enhancing connectivity, he cautioned that technology is a tool and needs political will to ensure coordinated border management involving other ministries and agencies.

In a private meeting chaired by Indonesia's Minister of Trade, Mari Pangestu, and attended by the Director General of Customs and Excise, Agung Kuswandono, Secretary General Mikuriya spoke about the efforts of Customs to facilitate trade while deterring illicit trade, in partnership with business. The business community welcomed the offer by Customs for closer dialogue and cooperation.