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WCO Secretary General addresses scholars and private sector in Japan on the future of Customs

06 septiembre 2019

On 3 September 2019, the WCO Secretary General, Kunio Mikuriya, gave a special lecture to WCO scholars at Aoyama Gakuin University (AGU) in Tokyo, Japan.  Twenty-one scholars from WCO Members who are following the Master’s Degree Programme in Public Finance at the National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (GRIPS) or in Strategic Management and Intellectual Property Rights at AGU attended the lecture.

His lecture focused on the fast-changing environment in which Customs administrations operate, as well as on the WCO's priorities identified through its strategic planning process and their actual implementation by Members.

During the interactive session that followed, Dr. Mikuriya answered questions and listened to scholars’ comments.  He made frequent reference to the situation in the WCO scholars’ respective countries, while explaining the WCO’s contribution to the promotion of regional integration and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.  He also encouraged scholars to join the community of Customs data experts to enable Customs to leverage data science.

Professors from both universities attended the lecture and welcomed the support provided by the WCO and Japan.  In turn, Secretary General Mikuriya praised the Programme as an excellent example of partnership between Customs and universities in addressing the crucial matter of Customs modernization aimed at developing human resources through knowledge, management skills and networks.  He wished the WCO scholars all the best for their future career in Customs, as they would undoubtedly be engaged in shaping the Customs agenda in years to come.

The Secretary General also gave a special lecture at the Japan Tariff Association in Tokyo on 2 September 2019, attended by over 250 participants, to mark the Association’s 70th anniversary.  Against the current international backdrop, the Association’s members, who are predominantly from the trading community, showed great interest in the Secretary General’s deliberations on topical trade issues, including the status of globalization, regionalization and multilateral trading systems as well as e-commerce, technology and trade supply chain security.  In addition, Dr. Mikuriya briefed the attendees on Customs' response to these challenges and the related opportunities.  He hoped that the trading community’s heightened focus on the future of Customs and trade systems would enhance Customs-Business partnerships around the world.