Customs role highlighted at the ADB CAREC Ministerial Conference

18 November 2019

At the invitation of Mr. Elyor M. Ganiev, Uzbekistan’s Deputy Prime Minister, WCO Secretary General Kunio Mikuriya visited Tashkent, Uzbekistan on 13 and14 November 2019 to speak at the Asian Development Bank’s (ADB) Central Asia Regional Economic (CAREC) Ministerial Conference.  The meeting was attended by nine CAREC member countries.

At the opening ceremony, after Deputy Prime Minister Ganiev’s address, Mr. Takehiko Nakao, ADB President, presented CAREC’s priorities among which trade and connectivity, including Customs digitization was referred to.  As guest speaker, Dr. Mikuriya explained how the WCO contributed to CAREC's objectives through standards’ setting, promotion of cooperation, and technical and capacity building support to improve connectivity at borders.  Using this year’s theme “SMART Borders for seamless Trade, Travel and Transport”, he gave account for standards, guidelines and best practices as well as the use of technology in support of risk management to facilitate trade, especially in the context of land-locked countries, travel, including in the recent efforts to promote tourism and transport in support of effectively expanding operational infrastructure.

Later Secretary General Mikuriya had a bilateral meeting with Deputy Prime Minister Ganiev who appreciated Dr. Mikuriya’s guest speech in which he had witnessed Uzbekistan’s open door policy’s implementation during his visit to the cross-border point with the neighbouring Kazakhstan.  Mr. Ganiev agreed with the suggestion by Dr. Mikuriya to provide more exposure to Customs officials as human resource development was the key to the success of the country’s ongoing economic reform.  They agreed to enhance cooperation between Uzbekistan and the WCO.