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ASEM Leaders recognize WCO instruments and tools to promote trade facilitation

06 noviembre 2012

Brussels, 6 November 2012

Press Release

The World Customs Organization (WCO) welcomes the Chair’s Statement by Leaders attending the 9th Summit of the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) in Vientiane, Lao People’s Democratic Republic under the theme “Friends for Peace, Partners for Prosperity” which highlights the importance of implementing WCO instruments and tools to promote trade facilitation.

Heads of State and Government of 49 Asian and European countries attended the event, as well as the President of the European Council, the President of the European Commission and the Secretary-General of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN).

ASEM Leaders held candid and in-depth discussions, exchanged views on important regional and international issues of common interest and concern, reviewed cooperation between Asia and Europe in the political, economic and socio-cultural fields, and set out the future direction of ASEM.

In dealing with the issue of trade and investment facilitation and liberalization, ASEM Leaders recognized the importance of implementing WCO instruments and tools in the Customs field, especially in the context of the ASEM Trade Facilitation Action Plan on Customs Matters.

“I am delighted that ASEM Leaders recognize the critical role of WCO instruments and tools in furthering the global trade facilitation agenda,” said WCO Secretary General, Kunio Mikuriya. “The WCO will work with ASEM members to promote economic competitiveness and growth,” he added.

Besides trade facilitation, the Chair’s Statement dealt with a number of global issues which are also priority areas of work for the WCO as they relate to Customs, including transnational organized crime, drug trafficking, national security, disaster management and sustainable development.

Founded in 1996, ASEM is an informal process of dialogue and cooperation bringing together 27 European Union Member States and the European Commission with 19 Asian countries and the ASEAN Secretariat, as well as three new members, namely Bangladesh, Norway and Switzerland.

The 10th ASEM Summit will be hosted by the European Union in Brussels in the second half of 2014.

More information

ASEM 9th Summit: Chair’s Statement