WCO Secretary General meets Israeli customs and business representatives

26 May 2009

WCO Secretary General meets Israeli customs and business representatives

Jerusalem, 26 May 2009


On his way back from attending the Stakeholder Conference for the Palestinian Revenue and Customs Economic Development Programme which was held in Ramallah (Palestine) from 24 to 25 May 2009, WCO Secretary General Kunio Mikuriya met Israeli customs and business representatives in Jerusalem on 26 May 2009. The Director General of Israeli Customs Doron Arbely appreciated the success of the Conference in Palestine and renewed his commitment to support Palestine Customs with technical assistance and with the future online exchange of information. Amir Shani, Vice President of the Federation of Israeli Chambers of Commerce and President of the Israeli Federation of Forwarders and Customs Clearance Agents, explained the on-going cooperation between Israeli and Palestinian business associations.

Mr. Mikuriya briefed representatives on the positive outcome of the Palestine Conference but pointed out that security concerns were overshadowing efficient and facilitated border-crossing procedures. While acknowledging that there is an emerging wish and willingness among Palestine’s customs and business leaders to enhance cooperation with their counterparts in Israel, he emphasized the need for further steps from the Israeli side to strengthen the partnership as this will prepare the way for prosperity and peace on both sides. He stressed the readiness of the international community to contribute to capacity building and said that this solidarity would be strengthened by Israeli goodwill.

The meeting also discussed the customs-business partnership in Israel and the plan to move forward with the introduction of more active electronic interconnection as well as a partnership with academia. Clearly, building trust between the two customs organizations is necessary beyond the top level for prosperity and peace to prosper.