Collective and coordinated response to trade facilitation between Asian Development Bank, Japan and WCO

14 December 2010

Collective and coordinated response to trade facilitation between Asian Development Bank, Japan and WCO

Tokyo, 13 December 2010


WCO Secretary General, Kunio Mikuriya, met the Minister of Finance in Japan, Yoshihiko Noda, on 13 December 2010 in Tokyo to express his readiness to work with the Asian Development Bank, Japan as a donor,and recipient countries, in support of Minister Noda’s initiative on trade facilitation for the Asia Pacific region.

During the November 2010 meeting of APEC (Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation) Ministers of Finance, Minister Noda pledged to contribute 25 million dollars to the Asian Development Bank over the next five years to assist developing and emerging Asian economies in improving trade procedures as part of efforts to support economic growth in the region. Minister Noda also asked the WCO and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to contribute to the development and implementation of an action plan for trade facilitation based on each institution’s expertise.

The new fund will support Asian economies in improving border management in the legal, institutional and human resource development areas through various programmes including the simplification of procedures based on the WCO Revised Kyoto Convention, the AEO programme, the single window and the risk management approach.

This initiative will complement the traditional ADB programmes on hard infrastructure, such as building ports and transnational roads, with more efficient soft infrastructure, in particular Customs and other border procedures, to enhance connectivity between Asian markets.

The first experts’ meeting, which included representatives from the WCO and the ROCB Asia Pacific in Bangkok, was convened at ADB headquarters in Manila (Philippines) on 14 December 2010 to identify common problems that Asian economies face in the area of trade facilitation.

Secretary General Mikuriya remarked that, “This is an excellent coordinated approach for trade facilitation support in line with the recent G20 Seoul Summit Declaration, combining expertise in Customs, finance and other development programmes.” He added, “It will also contribute to the WTO Doha Round, which includes the Trade Facilitation Negotiations, by providing concrete examples of concerted efforts to facilitate trade by developing experts on border procedures.”