WCO Secretary General addresses Scholars in Japan on Customs modernization

31 August 2018

On 30 August 2018, the WCO Secretary General Kunio Mikuriya gave a special lecture to WCO scholars at the National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (GRIPS), in Tokyo, Japan.  Nineteen scholars from WCO Members who are following the Master’s degree programme in Public Finance at the GRIPS and in Strategic Management and Intellectual Property Rights at Aoyama Gakuin University (AGU) attended the lecture.

His lecture focused on emerging and evolving challenges faced by Customs, as well as on the WCO and the international Customs community's response in areas such as trade facilitation including WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA), cross-border e-commerce, risks along the trade supply chain such as heightened security concerns, illicit financial flows (IFFs), cooperation with tax, as well as performance measurement. 

During the interactive session that followed, Dr. Mikuriya answered questions and listened to scholars’ comments. He made frequent references to the situation in the WCO scholars’ respective countries, while explaining the WCO’s contribution to the promotion of information exchange as well as the TFA implementation, and shared his views on the ways of thinking about the backlash against globalization, and on the importance of the ownership approach in Customs reforms.

Programme Directors and Professors from both universities attended the lecture and welcomed the support provided by the WCO and Japan.  In turn, Secretary General Mikuriya commended the Programme as an excellent example of partnership between Customs and universities in addressing the crucial matter of Customs modernization aimed at developing human resources through knowledge, management skills and networks.  He wished the WCO scholars all the best for their future career in Customs, as they would undoubtedly be engaged in shaping Customs in years to come.