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WCO Deputy Secretary General joins commemoration of 75th Indonesia Customs and Excise Day

29 septiembre 2021

On 28 September 2021, WCO Deputy Secretary General Ricardo Treviño Chapa virtually attended the celebrations commemorating the 75th Indonesia Customs and Excise Day. The celebrations took the form of a Seminar organized by the Customs Administration of Indonesia, bringing together participants from Customs, the private sector, academia, other government agencies and interested stakeholders.

Articulated around the theme “For a Stronger Future”, the Seminar was intended to raise awareness of the role played by Customs in economic growth, at both national and international levels, through its frontline position at borders and its activities with regard to commercial imports and exports. The Seminar also addressed the impact of the COVID-19 crisis and the challenges linked to the implementation by Customs of trade-related rules and regulations, before but also during the crisis. Based on these observations, the Seminar aimed to offer perspectives on how to improve operations in the future and allow Customs to maintain its performance in a post-crisis world.

The WCO Deputy Secretary General delivered a presentation entitled “The Impact of International Trade on Global Economic Growth”. He began by thanking Indonesia’s Director General of Customs and Excise, Mr. Askolani, for the invitation, before highlighting the undeniable bonds between a sound environment for trade and economic growth, showing that the continuous increase in global GDP since 1970 had gone hand-in-hand with an increasing volume of trade transactions. This tight connection had been demonstrated again during the COVID-19 crisis, when the slowdown of commercial activities had had clear impacts on economic growth.

In this context, the Deputy Secretary General said that Customs had a key role to play. The movement of goods had to be flawless in order to create value, and this meant that operations at the borders had to be efficient in order to create this dynamic. During the crisis, it was also essential to be able to rely on efficient Customs in order to ensure the smooth circulation of medical equipment and the protection of societies against counterfeit products. The Deputy Secretary General added that efficiency was also key to the handling of emerging trends, such as the digital economy, in order to ensure the sustainability of Customs in the future. He said the role of the WCO was to provide appropriate guidance to Customs authorities so that they could face up to new challenges and realities in a proper manner. The contribution made by Customs to trade and economic growth would continue if Customs authorities were able to adapt to these new realities and be seen as a reliable partner for governments and businesses.