Asia Pacific Region shares experiences on WCO priorities and Progresses with next Strategic Plan

19 October 2017

The 27th WCO Asia/Pacific Regional Contact Points Meeting was held from 11 to 13 October 2017 in Cairns, Australia. The objectives of the meeting were for the delegates from the Asia/Pacific region to share experiences and discuss issues of common interest of the region and to formulate recommendations to the Heads meeting in the coming spring.

Delegates from 22 Members in the Asia/Pacific region, representatives from the WCO Secretariat, Asia/Pacific Regional Office for Capacity Building (ROCB A/P), Asia/Pacific Regional Intelligence Liaison Office (RILO A/P) participated in the meeting, which was opened and chaired by Mr. Visvanath Das, Chief Executive Officer of Fiji Revenue and Customs Service and Vice-Chair for the Asia/Pacific region.

Mr. Visvanath Das welcomed all delegates to Cairns, Australia. Ms. Becos-Cole, Acting Assistant Secretary, Trusted Trader and Industry Engagement Branch, Australian Government Department of Immigration and Border Protection, delivered the keynote address. She emphasized the impact of economics on the global landscape, trade modernisation and the importance of e-commerce within the customs environment, and highlighted the significance of big data analytics in combating terrorism and transnational crime in the global arena.

The meeting reviewed the progress made under the Regional Strategic Plan 2016-2018 and, based on the results, discussed the next Regional Strategic Plan for 2018-2020 in break-out groups. The participants also shared their experience on the six priority areas of the WCO, namely Trade Facilitation, Customs-Tax Cooperation, E-Commerce, Illicit Financial Flows, Security and Performance Measurement, and had intensive discussion on each topic to make way forward.

The WCO Secretariat provided updates on strategies and initiatives under the six priority areas and this year’s theme "Data Analysis". The Secretariat also shared information on newly developed tools and programmes to enhance the knowledge and capacity of Customs administration. The ROCB A/P and the RILO A/P reported on activities conducted, all of which contributed to the lively exchange of views on the Regional Strategic Plan and WCO priorities.