Forum on the Role of Customs Administrations in Promoting and Facilitating Trade among Silk Road Countries

25 noviembre 2009
Forum on the Role of Customs Administrations in Promoting and Facilitating Trade among Silk Road Countries

November 2009

The 2nd International Forum on the Role of Customs Administrations in Promoting and Facilitating Trade among Silk Road Countries was held on 11 and 12 November 2009 in Baku (Azerbaijan). The Forum sessions were attended by representatives from 11 of the sub-region’s countries as well as from international organizations.

The Forum was officially opened by Mr. Abid Sharifov, Deputy-Prime Minister of the Republic of Azerbaijan, and Mr. Zhantoro Satybaldiyev, Secretary General of the Permanent Secretariat of the Intergovernmental Commission TRACECA.

The panel discussions focused on two key issues :

1. The role of Customs administrations in trade facilitation.

2. The role of capacity building and transit in the revitalization of the Silk Road.

Delegates highlighted the importance of simplification and harmonization of Customs formalities and facilitation of border crossing procedures in order to revitalize the historic “Silk Road” connecting European and Asian markets. They shared a common vision in terms of tangible steps to be taken to promote and facilitate trade between their countries.

The Forum approved the “Strategy Paper for the Silk Road Countries’ Customs Administrations to Facilitate and Simplify Border Crossings” and decided to set up a Working Group to further develop the “Caravanserai Project” based on two documents drafted at the September 2009 High Level Working Group Meeting in Ankara (Turkey). The Project’s primary objective is to achieve reduced waiting times through simplification and convergence of Customs procedures and practices. The Turkish Delegation is making the arrangements for the first Working Group meeting to be held in February-March 2010.

The Forum adopted the Baku Declaration.

It was agreed that the 3rd International Forum on the Role of Customs Administrations in Promoting and Facilitating Trade among Silk Road Countries would be held in Teheran (Iran) in 2010.