WCO Secretary General meets with the President of Kyrgyzstan

05 November 2021

From 3 to 5 November 2021, at the invitation of the State Customs Service of the Kyrgyz Republic and with the support of the Embassy of the Kyrgyz Republic in Brussels, the Secretary General of the World Customs Organization (WCO), Dr. Kunio Mikuriya, visited Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan to launch a Regional Dog Training Centre (RDTC) and meet with the President of Kyrgyzstan, H.E. Mr. Sadyr Japarov and other political leaders. Dr. Mikuriya also intervened during the EU-Central Asia Economic Forum held in Bishkek as well as an international conference on trade facilitation.

The signing of an MoU between the Chairman of the State Customs Service, Mr. Adilet Kubanychbekov and the WCO Secretary General marked the official launch of the RDTC. Secretary General Mikuriya stated that “the establishment of this RDTC demonstrates the Kyrgyz Customs’ commitment to modernization through enhanced regional networking and sharing of best practices”.

During the meeting between President Japarov and Secretary General Mikuriya, both leaders emphasized the need for enhanced training of Customs officers and welcomed the establishment of the RDTC in Bishkek. Dr. Mikuriya appreciated Kyrgyzstan’s decision to host a WCO regional structure which is devoted to the strengthening of regional cooperation by providing Customs officers of the region an opportunity to share their experiences and work together to find common solutions to overarching problems. He added that the WCO supports the ambition of Central Asia to become the centre of connectivity for the surrounding regions.

The Chairman of the Cabinet of Ministers of the Kyrgyz Republic (Prime Minister) H.E Mr. Akylbek Japarov, welcomed Dr. Mikuriya’s support and presented him with a copy of Kyrgyzstan’s instrument of accession to the Revised Kyoto Convention. Secretary General Mikuriya appreciated the willingness of Kyrgyzstan to base its customs procedures on the international standards.

In the margins of his visit in Kyrgyzstan, WCO Secretary General spoke at the International Conference on “Trade Facilitation measures during Covid-19 Pandemic in Central Asia”, held in Bishkek and organized with the support of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) Programme Office in Bishkek in the presence of Central Asian Customs and other development partners. The First Vice-Chairman of the Cabinet of Ministers of the Kyrgyz Republic, H.E Mr. Arzybek Kojoshev, made the opening remarks and declared the conference officially opened. In his keynote address, Secretary General Mikuriya explained the WCO’s approach on Trade Facilitation, especially in the context of landlocked countries. The Conference provided a platform for participants to exchange experiences and practices as well as allowed Customs Administrations and International organizations to elaborate new plans and improve existing ones on trade facilitation programmes.

Secretary General Mikuriya also spoke at the EU-Central Asia Economic Forum held in Bishkek. Dr. Mikuriya highlighted the Customs’ contribution to the business environment in Central Asia. He reiterated the WCO’s commitment to reinforce cooperation with the EU and other development partners to work together for the improvement of connectivity at borders.