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Asia Pacific Members gathered to discuss the regional priorities and the way forward

28 noviembre 2019

The 29th WCO Asia/Pacific Regional Contact Points Meeting was held from 18th to 20th November 2019 in Puducherry, India. The objective of the meeting was to discuss issues of common interest in the region and to exchange views and experiences to further enhance a cooperative and inclusive approach on the priorities.   Delegates from 20 Members in the Asia/Pacific region, representatives from the WCO Secretariat, Asia/Pacific Regional Office for Capacity Building (ROCB A/P), and Asia/Pacific Regional Intelligence Liaison Office (RILO A/P) participated in the meeting.

Prior to the opening, Mr. M. Ajit Kumar, Principal Chief Commissioner of Customs Chennai zone, delivered the opening remarks, followed by WCO Secretariat. The meeting was inaugurated and chaired by Mr. R.K. Barthwal, Member Customs of Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs, Government of India.  Mr. Barthwal emphasized the importance of regional cooperation and connectivity as well as the critical role of the A/P region as a driving force for world economic growth and customs innovation.  He also urged all the Members in the region to work collaboratively to take steps forward on regional priorities through existing strong cooperative relationships.

The delegates discussed a number of topics including advanced technology for customs procedures, performance measurement, security, enforcement, trade facilitation, Single Window, small island economies and cruise ships, which are of great interest and mutual concern for the region.  The new regional strategic plan for 2020-2022 was presented, regarding which the delegates shared their views and experience on relevant initiatives in pathing the way forward.

The WCO Secretariat contributed to the discussion through updates on strategies and initiatives and a couple of emerging issues to be tackled. The Secretariat also shared information on available tools and programmes to support the organizational development of Customs administrations. The ROCB A/P and the RILO A/P reported on their activities, which contributed to a lively exchange of views on the focus areas of the region.