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Customs’ role highlighted in reviving Silk Road at conference in Iran

20 octubre 2010

Customs’ role highlighted in reviving Silk Road at conference in Iran

Teheran, 19-20 October 2010


At the invitation of Mr. Ardeshir Mohammadi, President of the Islamic Republic of Iran Customs Administration (IRICA), WCO Secretary General Kunio Mikuriya visited Teheran, Iran on 19 and 20 October 2010 to speak at the 3rd Silk Road Conference on Customs Cooperation.

The initiative was first launched in 2008 by Turkish Customs and now comprises 24 countries along the historical road which serves as a gateway between Europe and the Far East. Participants shared their experience on streamlined border procedures to facilitate trade and explored ways to enhance cooperation in their efforts to revive this traditional trade route linking East and West.

Secretary General Mikuriya spoke about his expectations to utilize the Silk Road initiative as an implementing platform for Customs in the 21st Century in connecting markets. Iranian Minister of Economic Affairs and Finance, Shamseddin Hosseini, Turkish Minister of State, Hayati Yazıcı, and Secretary General of the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO), Mohammed Yahya Maroofi, were among the high-level participants supporting the Silk Road initiative.

During the visit to Teheran, Secretary General Mikuriya had a bilateral meeting with Minister Hosseini on Iranian Customs’ modernization programme; the WCO recently sent a diagnostic mission to IRICA in support of the implementation of the WCO SAFE Framework of Standards. The Minister advised that Iran’s long-waited revision of its Customs Code was underway and the country’s accession to the WCO Revised Kyoto Convention was also in the parliamentary process.

In addition, the WCO Secretary General met Dr. Mohammad Nahavandian, the Head of Iran Chamber of Commerce, Industries and Mines who spoke about the role of business in providing feedback to help Customs managers grasp the reality on the ground and lead reform.

Secretary General Mikuriya signed a Memorandum of Understanding with IRICA President, Ardeshir Mohammadi, who undertook to translate WCO elearning modules into Persian. This will be a great contribution to Persian-speaking countries, including Afghanistan.