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First national launch ceremony for the WCO Security Project held in Bangladesh

26 julio 2017

In cooperation with the World Customs Organization (WCO), the National Board of Revenue (NBR) of Bangladesh/Bangladesh Customs held a national ceremony to launch the WCO Security Project in Dhaka, Bangladesh on 25 July 2017.  The ceremony was attended by high-level guests representing government and business.  

The WCO Security Project aims to support Member administrations in South East Asia and surrounding countries in their efforts to enhance security against the threat of terrorist attacks.  The Government of Japan provides financial backing for the Project.  Although the regional launch ceremony was held in Bangkok, Thailand on 23 March 2017, this is the first launch ceremony for the Project to be held at national level.

In his keynote speech, the WCO Secretary General, Kunio Mikuriya, highlighted the significant role played by Customs in securing and facilitating the global supply chain through implementation of WCO standards and programmes.  He emphasized the importance of developing collaboration between Customs, other law enforcement agencies and the private sector to contribute to security at borders.  This in turn should improve the business environment through trade promotion and investment as well as domestic resource mobilization, and thus contribute to social and economic development.

Bangladesh’s State Minister, Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Planning, Mr. M. A. Mannan MP, together with the Commerce Secretary and Home Affairs Secretary (Public Security), shared a sense of urgency about combating terrorism, and underscored the significance of enhancing cooperation between Bangladesh Customs, other government agencies and stakeholders.  They welcomed the Security Project and expressed their hope that it would contribute to addressing terrorist threats and supporting trade expansion, an engine for economic growth.

Mr. Md. Nojibur Rahman, Chairman of the NBR, stressed that Bangladesh Customs should strengthen its security dimension, referencing the terrorist attack that took place in Bangladesh in July 2016.  He expressed his sincere gratitude to the Government of Japan for financing the Security Project and gave assurances that the NBR would adopt a whole-of-government approach.

On the previous day, Secretary General Mikuriya took the opportunity to meet Bangladesh’s Minister of Finance, Mr. Abul Maal Abdul Muhith, and to discuss a range of Customs reform issues, including the Security Project, Mercator Programme and revenue enhancement which all support each other through capacity building.

He also met the Minister of Commerce, Mr. Tofail Ahmed, to discuss the role of the National Committee on Trade Facilitation in implementing the WTO Agreement on Trade Facilitation as well as the need to secure the supply chain.  In addition, Dr. Mikuriya briefed the Minister of Home Affairs, Mr. Asaduzzaman Khan, on how Customs could contribute to bolstering security through the Security Project. 

All three Ministers expressed their support for the Security Project, which will increase the efficiency and effectiveness of Customs.  The NBR members held a meeting with Dr. Mikuriya during which they updated him on progress with Customs modernization in Bangladesh and exchanged views on recent WCO activities.