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Latin America and the Caribbean in the 21st Century Trade Architecture

22 octubre 2014

At the invitation of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), Secretary General Kunio Mikuriya spoke at major IDB events on trade and integration, held in the bank's headquarters in Washington D.C., USA on 20 and 21 October 2014, with the participation of Vice Ministers of Trade and Directors General of Customs in the Latin America and the Caribbean region.

Secretary General Mikuriya welcomed the forum which aimed to encourage Customs and ministries of trade working together to improve economic competitiveness at national and regional levels, especially after the adoption of the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA).  Emphasizing the importance of applying global standards to ensure connectivity at borders in a consistent and standardized manner, he explained the importance of a variety of WCO tools incorporated in the Economic Competitiveness Package which promote a collaborative approach between Customs, business and other government agencies, especially in the context of regional integration.  The Secretary General also delivered an overview of the Mercator Program, launched at the Council sessions in June, which includes tailor-made assistance in support of efficient and effective Customs for economic competitiveness.  In this regard, he added that accurate data provided in a timely basis would permit Customs to implement risk assessment at an early stage, thereby enhancing trade facilitation.  The standardization of data requirements undertaken by the WCO, such as the Data Model and the recently developed pre-loading advance cargo information would support this risk-based approach and also the realization of a single window.

For further information on the IDB events and in particular two recent publications: "Trade and Integration Monitor 2014 - Facing Headwinds" and "Synchronized Factories - Latin America and the Caribbean in the Era of Global Value Chains”, please visit: www.iadb/trade

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