4th Meeting of the Heads of Customs Administrations of the Turkic Council

03 July 2015

At the invitation of the Chairman of the Customs Service of Kyrgyzstan, Mr. Adamkul Zhunusov, WCO Secretary General Kunio Mikuriya participated in the fourth meeting of the Heads of Customs of the Turkic Council (Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Turkey), held in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan on 1 and 2 July 2015.

On 1 July Secretary General Mikuriya was received by the President of the Kyrgyz Republic, Mr. Almaz Atambaev, who expressed his appreciation for support received from the WCO.  He also visited the Customs training center for personnel and K9 dogs and later the headquarters of Kyrgyz Customs.  The Secretary General took advantage of the opportunity to discuss the evolving role of Customs in a global context with local Customs officers.

On 2 July the Kyrgyz Prime Minister, Mr. Temir Sariyev, formally opened the Turkic Council Heads of Customs meeting in the presence of ambassadors and representatives of international organizations.  Secretary General Mikuriya delivered a keynote speech as guest of honour, during which he stressed the importance of regional integration and cooperation among countries with historical and cultural ties such as the members of the Turkic Council. Such cooperation would enhance connectivity at borders thereby ensuring further economic competitiveness and supply chain security.  He offered WCO support; which encompassed its instruments, tools and capacity building initiatives, in this respect.  The Secretary General of the Turkic Council, Mr. Ramil Hasanov, expressed his appreciation for the MoU that was signed between the two Organizations earlier this year, which had resulted in increased cooperation.

The meeting discussed mechanisms to revive the ancient Silk Road including transit supported by enhanced exchange of information and AEO.  Secretary General Mikuriya suggested that many of the WCO tools could be relevant in this respect, and that it would be beneficial to find synergy with similar Silk Road initiatives being undertaken by surrounding countries.

All participants expressed their appreciation to Kyrgys Customs for its excellent organization and warm hospitality.