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WCO Asia Pacific Regional Dialogue on Partnership for Customs Modernization

12 June 2012

                              WCO Asia Pacific Regional Dialogue on Partnership for Customs Modernization
                                                          Bangkok, 31 May – 01 June 2012

 The WCO and the Regional Office for Capacity Building (ROCB) A/P, in collaboration with the Thai Customs Department, organized a „WCO Asia Pacific Regional Dialogue on Partnership for Customs Modernization” in Bangkok, Thailand from 31 May to 1 June 2012, under the sponsorship of CCF/Japan. This dialogue offered valuable opportunities for the development partners and customs administrations in the region to explore how they can work together to enhance partnerships for regional development through customs modernization. A number of development partners who are active in the region, such as the World Bank (WB), the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), US Agency for International Development (USAID), United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP), United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and Pacific (UNESCAP) as well as customs partners from the Asia Pacific, America and Europe, participated in the dialogue and shared their ideas and programs.

Prior to the dialogue, a three-day Customs-only preparatory workshop was organized on 28-30 May 2012, attracting the attendance of 27 member administrations from the region. During the workshop, the participants shared their latest development in customs reforms and modernization as well as experiences in working with the development partners. In the breakout session, they also actively exchanged their views on sub-regional priorities and challenges for capacity building.

This Dialogue is part of the ongoing efforts of the WCO and ROCB A/P to engage development partners for customs modernization. During the two-day dialogue, both, development partners and customs administrations of the Asia Pacific Region, made a number of informative presentations and exchanged information on their programs, needs and priorities. They also frankly talked about their experiences and lessons learned from the existing cooperation and discussed how to enhance cooperation towards customs modernization. As a result of the forward looking discussion among participants, both customs administrations and development partners greatly improved their mutual understanding and agreed to work together to follow up this dialogue through national or inter-agency discussion to enhance cooperation.

Participants offered very positive comments on this regional dialogue and expressed their appreciation to the WCO and the ROCB A/P for this initiative. On this basis, participants also agreed to meet again in the future to review the progress.

(Article provided by the ROCB A/P)