World Customs and Trade Forum 2011

30 November 2011

World Customs and Trade Forum 2011

Guangzhou, 24-25 November 2011


More than 400 high-level delegates from Customs and business, as well as representatives from government, academia and the diplomatic community, participated in the WCO’s 5th World Customs and Trade Forum hosted by the General Administration of China Customs (GACC) in Guangzhou, China from 24-25 November 2011.

The Forum which was attended by more than 20 Directors General of Customs was built around the theme “Knowledge, a Catalyst for Customs Excellence” and driven by the sub-theme: “Sharing Knowledge: Inspiration for Trade Development and Economic Prosperity”.

In his welcoming address, Mr. Guangzhou Yu, Director of the Leading Board and Minister of the GACC, stressed the importance of knowledge sharing and the Customs-Business Partnership, both of which facilitated the effective management of trade by Customs.

WCO Secretary General, Kunio Mikuriya, emphasized the significant role knowledge played in inspiring trade development when shared among Customs administrations and between Customs and its public and private sector partners.

Mr. Mikuriya took the opportunity to announce that the Customs community would dedicate 2012 to “Connectivity” with the slogan “Borders divide, Customs Connects”, and would launch the theme on 26 January, celebrated annually as International Customs Day.

The conference discussed a range of aspects topics directly related to Customs in the 21st Century and how the private sector and others with an interest in global trade could support Customs in its efforts to use knowledge to further facilitate and secure international trade.

Participants recognized that mutual trust was essential and would be enhanced by the business community’s efforts towards an improved compliance culture, and by Customs’ move towards a knowledge-based professional service culture.

Customs and business leaders attending the Forum issued a Joint Communiqué on Sharing Knowledge to Inspire Trade Development and Economic Prosperity at the end of the conference.

A summary of the meeting as well as presentations made available will be loaded on the WCO website (Events Section) in due course.