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Customs officials from Asia-Pacific and LAC gather in Panama to find ways to facilitate trade

The meeting is part of the South-South Cooperation framework signed by the Inter-American Development Bank and the Asian Development Bank in 2011

PANAMA CITY – Representatives of more than 100 customs agencies from 54 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) and Asia and the Pacific met here on April 4–5 as part of an effort to strengthen cooperation in trade facilitation and trade security between the two regions with the goal of reducing the costs of commercial operations. The event, “Dialogue of Customs Leaders of Asia and the Pacific and the Americas: Safe and Efficient Trade for Shared Prosperity,” was organized by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the Asian Development Bank (ADB), and the World Customs Organization (WCO).

The meeting featured sessions to discuss innovative ways of exchanging information and data within the Single Window concept, to share the training and results-measurement programs implemented by various customs authorities, to identify opportunities to promote public-private alliances, and to evaluate challenges to implementing Authorized Economic Operator (AEO) programs and Mutual Recognition Agreements (MRA), and to encourage integrated coordination of borders.

The Dialogue was co-chaired by Kunio Mikuriya, Secretary-General of the WCO; Ying Qian, the ADB’s Director of Public Management, Financial Sector, and the Regional Cooperation Division, and Antoni Estevadeordal, Manager of the Integration and Trade Sector of the IDB. The National Customs Authority of Panama also participated actively in the organization of the meeting.

In 2011, the ADB and the IDB signed the South-South Cooperation program, with the goal of sharing knowledge and maximizing the impact of their work in both regions. At the same time, they each signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the World Customs Organization to encourage a stronger partnership and to develop synergies in promoting safer, more efficient global trade.

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