Tanzania and Botswana Delegations visit Finland

29 September 2014

Following National Policy Dialogues (NPDs) held in Tanzania and Botswana, the Governments of the respective countries nominated five participants each from different agencies to visit ports and borders in Finland. This was part of the Coordinated Border Management (CBM) component of the Finnish funded WCO ESA Project ‘Building Trade Capacity through Customs Modernization in the East and Southern Africa Region’. The study visit took place at the Customs Headquarters and Risk Management Center in Helsinki, Vuosaari Port and the Model Border Station of Nuijamma on the Finnish – Russian border from 17 to 19 September 2014 and was hosted by the Director General of Finnish Customs Mr. Leo Nissinen.

In welcoming the delegations on behalf of the Finnish Government, Mr. Jan Koivu said that ‘...there is ample evidence that openness of trade is beneficial for economic growth in the long-run. It is clear that the best results in poverty reduction have been achieved by those developing countries that have embraced external trade and that have succeeded in integrating into the global economy. It is for these reasons that we see the need to support the Modernization Process of Customs Services in the ESA region. Customs is a crucial actor in facilitating growth and thus improving the lives of people permanently.’

The delegations were led by the Commissioners of Customs from the two countries and included senior Government officials representing Immigration, Veterinary Services, Police, Standards, Food Authorities and Customs. The participants hailed the study visit as an eye opener to the possibilities and levels of how border agencies can jointly cooperate with each other efficiently and effectively while also individually achieving their statutory obligations.

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