As part of a continuous effort to enhance donor coordination and cooperation and strengthen stakeholders networking, the 8th WCO - America’s and Caribbean (AMS/CB) regional entities strategic meeting and the 6th regional donor meeting for the Americas and Caribbean took place at the International Monetary Fund (IMF) headquarters in Washington D.C., from 2-4 February 2015.
Prior to the donor meeting, the regional entities including the Vice Chair of the region, Regional Office for Capacity Building AMS/CB, Regional Training Centre´s, Regional Intelligence Liaison Office and Multilateral Agreement on Mutual Assistance for Director Generals of Customs of Latin America, Spain and Portugal (COMALEP) worked together to develop two key planning documents. One is a draft Regional Risk Management Strategy framework document and the other was a draft initial strategy for the Regional Entities strategic working group. Both plans are designed to support the priorities based on the region’s Customs reform and modernization process.
The opening session of the regional donor meeting was made on behalf of the IMF by Mr. Michael Keen, Deputy Director of the Fiscal Affairs Department and on behalf of the Inter-American Development Bank by Mr. Antoni Estevadeordal, Manager Sector of Integration and Trade. Both speakers stressed the importance of this meeting to build on existing and create new synergies. Mr. Erich Kieck, Director of Capacity Building for the WCO and Ms. Isabel Clavijo also highlighted the importance of this fourth annual meeting to deliver sustainable capacity building within the region. Interesting topics where raised during the meeting covered Coordinated Border Management, the World Trade Organization Trade Facilitation Agreement and the impact of Customs, Risk Management and Authorized Economic Operators as a priority for the region. Additionally, for the 2nd year in a row the Director Generals from the Customs Administrations such as Peru, Jamaica, Ecuador, Mexico and Bolivia were invited to present and share case studies to the audience as good practices of coordination and cooperation with other stakeholders.
The donor meeting concluded and the Chair thanked all the participants and recognized the engagement and efforts on coordinating assistance towards Customs modernization with a more holistic approach.