Top-level meeting at the Asian Development Bank : progress update and the way forward

05 June 2013

At the invitation of the Asian Development Bank (ADB), WCO Secretary General Kunio Mikuriya paid a courtesy visit to meet the new ADB President, Mr. Takehiko Nakao, at the Bank’s headquarters in Manila, Philippines on 4 June 2013. During the meeting, they agreed to further strengthen the relationship between the two institutions. Mr. Nakao, who took up the ADB presidency on 28 April 2013, welcomed the partnership with the WCO and emphasized the importance of incorporating WCO standards and expertise in the ADB’s core work relating to the financing of infrastructure to support regional integration. Secretary General Mikuriya thanked the ADB for its support of Customs through the adoption and implementation of WCO standards and programmes, especially following the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the ADB and the WCO in 2010.

Secretary General Mikuriya addressed the ADB's Eminent Speakers Forum on the topic of "Customs and Trade Facilitation in the 21st Century". He described the new WCO Strategic Plan that supports wide-ranging Customs missions in response to the rapidly changing world and the heightened expectation of efficient border controls as these have a direct impact on economic competitiveness. He underscored the importance of partnership with the ADB in modernizing Customs as a key player in efficient, transparent, secure and resilient supply chains. In response, ADB contributors said that they see the implementation of WCO standards and programmes, including the Revised Kyoto Convention and the Time Release Study, as key to improving connectivity leading to better regional integration. They welcomed the ongoing cooperation with the WCO in Central Asia, South East Asia and South Asia, along with its expansion to the Pacific region.