Astana, Kazakhstan, 21-22 May, 2015
Upon invitation by Mr. Daulet Yergozhin, Chairman, State Revenue Committee, Ministry of Finance, Kazakhstan, the WCO, represented by Ms. Heike Barczyk, Deputy Director Compliance and Facilitation, participated in the European Regional Forum "Partnership: Customs and Business" which was held in Astana on 21-22 May 2015.
In his opening remarks, Mr. Bakhyt Sultanov, Minister of Finance of the Republic of Kazakhstan, highlighted the importance of Customs and Business partnership approaches in a national, regional and global context of increased interconnectivity and enhanced modernization efforts by Customs and the private sector alike. In the following five sessions of the Forum, different aspects of cooperation were discussed in further detail, including the question of how to build and enhance trust amongst each other; particular interests of Small and Medium-Size Enterprises (SMEs); integrity aspects; several aspects of AEO programmes and envisaged amendments to those programmes, including in two Regional Communities, the EU and the Eurasian Economic Community; as well as some views into the future.
Throughout the Forum, delegates and the WCO itself highlighted the various WCO instruments, tools and approaches in place to support Members in the area of Customs-Business partnership. Conclusions from the Conference on key success factors for such partnership included the need for respective political and administrative will; partly still a to-be-achieved change in the mind-set of Customs and Business alike; the need for transparent and open communication; a multi-layered approach taking into account the diversity of businesses (in particular SMEs); the need for clearly defined goals and objectives including performance measurement; and the importance of adequate time and resource commitments.
For further information on the Forum, please visit the Forum's webpage: http://forum-astana.org/en/programma/p/29/778/ .