WCO support to LLDCs highlighted at the Aid for Trade Stocktaking event

26 marzo 2021

Upon the invitation of the High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States, on 23 March 2021 the WCO Secretary General, Dr. Kunio Mikuriya, spoke at a Virtual meeting on the Impact of COVID-19 on Landlocked Developing Countries (LLDCs) and Implications for Resilient Recovery. The meeting was organized as a session of the World Trade Organization’s Aid for Trade Stocktaking event and gathered close to 70 participants from LLDCs, transit countries, development partners, development banks, United Nations system entities and other international and regional organizations and private sector.

The objective of the session was to review the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on LLDCs’ trade, identify the specific challenges faced by LLDCs and make recommendations on how Aid for Trade financing can support resilient recovery in LLDCs.

Other speakers included ministers and ambassadors from LLDCs, and high-level speakers from the World Trade Organization (WTO), the United Nations Conference for Trade and Development (UNCTAD), the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) and the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

The WCO Secretary General highlighted the guidance that the WCO has been providing since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic to support its Members to facilitate the cross-border movement of relief and essential supplies and to sustain supply chain continuity. Dr. Mikuriya shared the lessons learned for resilient recovery by underlining that it was all the more important to streamline Customs procedures, to enhance Coordinated Border Management and cooperation with the private sector, to accelerate digitalization of Customs procedures and enhanced use of technology, and to facilitate e-commerce. Moreover, relevant WCO instruments, tools and initiatives that can support the efforts in these areas were highlighted by Dr. Mikuriya.

The High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States thanked the WCO for its continued support to LLDCs, specifically in the areas of transit and trade facilitation.