WCO Secretary General meets with the President of Kazakhstan

08 十月 2021

From 4 to 6 October 2021, at the invitation of the State Revenue Committee of Kazakhstan and with the support of the Embassy of Kazakhstan in Brussels, WCO Secretary General Dr. Kunio Mikuriya visited Kazakhstan to observe Customs operations at the country’s southern borders with Uzbekistan and meet with President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev and other political leaders, including Prime Minister Askar Mamin.

During his visit to the strategically-located crossroads connecting East and West at the borders between Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, Secretary General Mikuriya had an opportunity to see how the newly modernized “B. Konysbaev” Customs checkpoint operates. The checkpoint was opened earlier this year by Kazakhstan’s Prime Minister and is fitted out with modern equipment using the latest technology to facilitate the movement of goods at transit and import.

When meeting with President Tokayev, Dr. Mikuriya discussed the way forward in terms of further Customs modernization, taking into consideration the use of advanced technology of the type he witnessed at the country’s borders. The President, in turn, expressed his appreciation for the WCO’s work as a technical, practical and result-oriented organization. He also supported the WCO’s efforts to bolster and strengthen connectivity in Central Asia. President Tokayev added that Kazakhstan paid particular attention to cooperation between his country and the WCO and greatly welcomed the personal support offered by the WCO Secretary General. He concluded by mentioning that comprehensive work was being carried out in Kazakhstan to support the national economy and international trade during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Secretary General Mikuriya went on to meet with Prime Minister Mamin who stressed the importance of increasing the transit potential of his country by building border checkpoints in accordance with WCO standards. After stating his appreciation for the WCO’s assistance, Prime Minister Mamin shared his country’s plan to modernize nine roads and one railway checkpoint by 2024.

Dr. Mikuriya also attended high-level follow-up meetings with the Minister of Finance, Mr. Yerulan Zhamaubaev, and the Chairman of the State Revenue Committee, Mr. Ali Altynbayev, on issues addressed during the meetings with the Heads of State and Government, including the challenges of improving trade data quality, strengthening law enforcement activities and further improving working conditions to promote professional career paths for Customs officers.

The State Revenue Committee also organized a dialogue session between Dr. Mikuriya and new recruits, during which they discussed the current challenges faced by Customs together with potential solutions.