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WCO Asia/Pacific 31st Regional Contact Points Meeting

15 noviembre 2021

The 31st WCO Asia/Pacific Regional Contact Points Meeting was held from 2 to 3 November 2021 virtually, hosted by Indonesia Customs, WCO Asia Pacific Vice Chair. The objectives of the meeting were for the delegates from the Asia/Pacific region to discuss issues of common interest and to exchange their views and experiences to further enhance cooperative and inclusive approach for the priorities of the region. Delegates from 22 Members in the Asia/Pacific region, representatives from the WCO Secretariat, Asia/Pacific Regional Office for Capacity Building (ROCB A/P), Asia/Pacific Regional Intelligence Liaison Office (RILO A/P) participated in the meeting.

The meeting was commenced by the welcome remarks from the Director General of Customs and Excise of the Republic of Indonesia, Mr. Askolani, as the WCO Vice Chair of Asia Pacific region. He expressed his gratitude to Customs administrations in the Asia/Pacific Region for their active participation in this meeting to discuss regional challenges and strategy while sharing the experiences and expanding the regional cooperation.

It was followed by the opening remarks from the Director of Capacity Building, WCO, Dr. Taeil KANG. He emphasized the importance of regional cooperation and connectivity as well as the critical role of the A/P region as a driving force for the world economic growth and customs innovation, while urging all Members in the region to work collaboratively to take steps forward on regional priorities through existing strong cooperative relationship. He also introduced that the WCO had maintained strong commitment to the regional capacity building support even after COVID-19 pandemic, and developed useful management tool and guidelines, such as "People Development in Time of Crisis".

In this meeting, WCO Secretariat presented WCO’s response to COVID-19, highlighting the importance of collaboration with other organizations and recent main developments such as the area of E-Commerce, passenger facilitation and control, gender equity and diversity, and training methods.  Vice Chair Office reported their activities delivered in the past few months, including regional communication updates such as RSP 2020-2022 survey, Vice Chair Candidacy, Regional Representatives to WCO Committee's announcement, and RILO A/P transition progress.  ROCB A/P delivered a report on updates and a summary of the key activities as well as annual work plan, followed by the RILO A/P to deliver a report on key undertakings, achievements and progress of projects. Participants of the meeting were also informed about the activities of the Working Group on RILO A/P Transition.

The delegates exchanged views on how to ensure the smooth functioning of Customs administrations in the midst of the fight against COVID-19. In addition, they discussed regional priorities and strategies, highlighting their own initiatives, such as advance training methods, security and intelligence, and gender equality. They agreed on the importance of expanding and strengthening cooperation among countries in the region as well as with the ROCB and the RILO in the AP region, especially at particularly difficult times such as those the world is currently experiencing.

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