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The Heads of Regional Training Centers in Asia/Pacific gathered to discuss the way to further contribute to the region

04 noviembre 2022

The 20th Meeting of the Heads of Asia/Pacific WCO Regional Training Centers (RTCs) was held at the Thai Customs Academy in Bangkok, Thailand as RTC Thailand, on 2-3 November 2022 in a hybrid manner. It was organized by the Asia/Pacific Regional Office for Capacity Building (ROCB A/P).  The meeting was opened with welcome remarks by Mrs. Nunthita Sirikup, Deputy Director General of the Thai Customs Department. The WCO Director of Capacity Building, Dr. Taeil Kang, made opening remarks and presented VR Training Equipment to Thailand Customs. The Heads of the 10 RTCs in the region, namely RTC China, RTC Fiji, RTC Hong Kong China, RTC India, RTC Indonesia, RTC Iran, RTC Japan, RTC Korea, RTC Malaysia and RTC Thailand, representatives from the WCO Secretariat, the Asia/Pacific Vice-Chair’s Office and the Regional Intelligence Liaison Office for Asia and the Pacific (RILO A/P) participated in the meeting.

RTC Thailand organized a handover ceremony with respect to the recently delivered and installed Virtual Reality Training (VRT) set of equipment. Dr. Kang, as the initiator of the project himself, delivered a speech during this ceremony regarding the WCO’s and his vision on the utilization of new technologies and on the modernization of building Customs capacities. He also highlighted that with the generous financial support of the Customs Cooperation Fund of Korea, who made an investment of almost one million euros, thirty-two WCO Regional entities will receive the same VRT kiosk. It is noteworthy that RTC Thailand was the first beneficiary to receive it. Furthermore, a dedicated team assisted the meeting participants to experience the virtual reality cargo inspection training.

The Heads of RTCs exchanged views on how to enhance Customs capacities through strengthened professionalism and human resource networks to ultimately contribute to Customs modernization efforts in the region.  The WCO provided recent updates on its policy and initiatives, especially the efforts to correctly assess the impact of capacity building.   Subsequently, the RILO A/P presented their activities and strengthened the necessity of cooperating with each RTC. The ROCB A/P also provided a report on the capacity building activities delivered in 2021-22.  All the RTCs presented their recent initiatives to enhance Customs professionalism and had an opportunity to learn from each other on training strategies and activities of the respective RTCs.

The delegates profoundly discussed the challenges and good practices of Customs training under COVID-19.  Each delegate presented the lessons learnt during the pandemic and the way forward for future capacity building activities.

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