WCO Meets with Senior Director of the World Bank Group

30 September 2014

Upon the invitation of the Secretary General of the World Customs Organization (WCO), Dr. Kunio Mikuriya, Senior Director, Trade and Competitiveness Global Practice, the World Bank (WB), Ms. Anabel González visited the Headquarters of the WCO on 29 September 2014. The aim of the meeting was to further develop and promote cooperation between the two Organizations.

The Secretary General welcomed Ms. González and expressed gratitude to the WB Group for the support to date, notably the joint World Bank/WCO Capacity Building Project for Sub-Saharan Africa. He outlined the background to the development of the "WCO Mercator Programme", which is assisting governments worldwide to promote trade facilitation expeditiously and in a harmonized manner by using core WCO instruments and tools, as well as the WCO’s robust technical assistance and capacity building delivery.

Ms. González responded by presenting the benefits of the joint Project and emphasized her commitment to continuously support developing countries with trade facilitation reform, including the use of the newly established Trade Facilitation Support Program.

Views were exchanged on trade facilitation from different aspects, stressing the importance of an ownership approach, coordinated border management and Customs and business partnership. The Secretary General and Ms. González also discussed concrete ways in which the WCO and the WB Group could work together, drawing on their respective strengths and areas of expertise. The Secretary General stressed that the WCO’s instruments and tools greatly support the implementation of trade facilitation at both national and regional level, adding that close cooperation between all relevant authorities is necessary to ensure the maximum impact of all actions aimed at promoting trade facilitation.

In concluding the meeting, the Secretary General congratulated Ms. González on her recent appointment, and both Organizations reaffirmed their commitment to continue fostering collaborative communication and to work together for the future of trade facilitation.