Belgian Minister of Finance visits WCO Headquarters

29 octubre 2013

On 29 October 2013, Belgian Minister of Finance Koen Geens visited WCO Headquarters, accompanied by the Director General of Belgian Customs, Noël Colpin.

Secretary General Mikuriya expressed his appreciation for the visit by a senior Minister from the Organization’s host country and highlighted the work currently being undertaken by the WCO to support trade facilitation and security; to ensure fair and efficient revenue collection; to enhance the protection of society; and to underpin institutional and human resource development in Customs around the world.

Minister Geens appreciated the Secretary General’s presentation of the WCO’s activities, recognizing that Customs is at the intersection of a broad range of areas and disciplines, including taxation, logistics, economic development and criminal investigations. Drawing on his background and experience in academia, he said that this complexity and multi-disciplinary coverage explains why it is rare to find researchers able to grasp the full range of Customs activities. As a result, Customs research tends to be somewhat underdeveloped in the academic world. There is a need, however, for political and business leaders to understand Customs, given its significance to the national economy and to regional integration.

The Minister recognized that Customs administrations need to obtain the knowledge of how to plan and organize activities and services more efficiently on the ground. He believed that the WCO approach of sharing best practice is the most effective way to achieve this goal.

He acknowledged the importance of Customs and admired the contribution that the WCO made to the global community in an ordered and effective way, without necessarily always being in the public eye.