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WCO-IDB Capacity Building for Customs managers from China and Latin America

21 diciembre 2011

WCO-IDB Capacity Building for Customs managers from China and Latin America

The WCO and the IDB co-organized the first exchange programme between Customs managers from Latin America and China from 07th to 16th December 2011. Supported by the People’s Bank of China and China Customs, this event gathered representatives from 11 Latin America Customs administrations and Customs officials from China.

14 Customs managers from Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Guatemala, El Salvador, Mexico, Nicaragua, Paraguay, Peru, Dominican Republic, Uruguay participated alongside with 10 Chinese officials.

Aiming at developing Customs management capacities to engage successful working relationships to promote trans-Pacific international trade, this international meeting combines the WCO and IDB complementary and integrated approaches: the WCO extensive capacity building strategy and the SAFE Framework Customs-to-Customs pillar implementation, and the IDB Customs and Trade facilitation strategy and South-South cooperation initiatives.

The programme comprised 2 components:

- a workshop held in Washington DC, United States, in the IDB premises from 7th to 9th December, exposing the Latin America participants to strategic panel discussions with Customs top-executives and stakeholders; and

- an exchange forum organized in Shanghai, China, from 12th to 16th December within the WCO Regional Training Center hosted by the Shanghai Customs College, offering a discussion platform for all the participants of specific technical issues.

As part of the WCO initiatives for Customs Leadership and Management Development, this event has been set up to contribute in strengthening Customs leaders and managers’ capacities for them to lead, reform and modernize efficiently their administrations. Equipping managers to anticipate and respond to today’s economic challenges and fast-evolving environment is indeed crucial to align Customs organizational development schemes with the political agenda tied to social and economic prosperity.

This ground-breaking initiative opens the first trans-regional event establishing an open cooperation forum between 2 economical entities which are more and more intricate. The exponential increase of the international trade between China and Latin America has transformed the Customs environment: from a situation where the exchanges were minor a decade ago, the exchanges have increased since then at an annual average rate of 31%.

Therefore, this event aimed at achieving several objectives:

- Fostering mutual understanding and common knowledge on trans-Pacific international trade

- Becoming more familiar with the strategic functions and processes of each Customs Administrations

- Sharing good practices and exchanging on the Customs organizational challenges

- Exploring opportunities for future cooperation

- Building on sustainable inter-regional networks of professionals who have the potential to implement strategic partnerships.

The exchange programme focused on key Customs issues such as the Risk Management systems, the AEO programmes, the IT implementation and Single Window. It enabled to articulate practical recommendations based on a draft cooperation framework which will offer a sustainable exchange and development platform for China Customs and Latin American Customs Administrations.

Several ideas on further developments have been developed: ensuring that this programme becomes a recognized WCO Customs leaders symposium with a positive capacity to trigger change, identifying strategic topics on which the next sessions would focus to produce effective outcomes and documented proposals, and promoting the cross-participation of China and Latin American representatives to key regional meetings which would offer relevant platforms to ensure political support.

Considering the strategic importance of promoting inter-regional Customs to Customs relationships and interconnectivity, this first initiative will pave the way to a sustainable cooperation with IDB to develop and organize a long-term programme anchored in the WCO and IDB respective Capacity Building strategies.

It is moreover initiating the development of a new component of the WCO Leadership and Management Development Programme promoting Customs leaders symposiums aiming at offering senior managers and top-executives to meet and exchange on strategic issues impacting the future of their administrations.