WCO delegates call on Khurram Dastgir
A delegation of World Customs Organisation (WCO), led by its Secretary General, Kunio Mikuriya called on the Federal Minister for Commerce, Engr Khurram Dastgir Khan. The minister welcomed the delegation. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss issues of bilateral interest including technical assistance with regard to counter terrorism and supply chain security, trade facilitation and economic competitiveness, emerging challenges to Customs, illicit financial flows and Customs reform and modernization, says a press release issued here on Tuesday.
Speaking on the occasion, the Commerce minister said that as per the vision of the Prime Minister of Pakistan, we are making an effort to increase our transit trade area to Central Asian Republics (CARs) and will welcome and appreciate some degree of necessary support from WCO to help in either drafting a new agreement or to form some guidelines so that the goods can move across these borders more efficiently.
Engr Khurram Dastgir Khan informed the delegation that Pakistan has become a member of TIR convention and it is still in the implementation stage but there is need to merge it with the Transit Trade Agreement to facilitate the movement of goods. The minister further said that Pakistan is already a signatory of TFA and is working with all its neighbours for regularisation of trade, minimizing tariffs and removing the non-tariff barriers. The World Customs Organisation (WCO), established in 1952, represents 182 Customs administrations around the world (including Pakistan Customs), that collectively process 98% of World Trade. It provides an important forum for dialogue and exchange of experiences between national Customs delegates as well as technical assistance and training services. Besides administrations in combating fraudulent activities and actively supports their endeavours at modernizing and building capacity with their national customs administrations.
Pakistan Customs is already a part of several WCO initiatives including its Program Global Shield (PGS) and Strategic Trade Control Enforcement (STCE) Programme under which Pakistani officers have received extensive trainings. Kunio Mikuriya said that the WCO will provide its support to Pakistan in regularisation of trade and also suggested that Pakistan recuperate its trade relations with all its neighbour countries particularly Afghanistan to play a more significant role in the corridor. The secretary general also said that the WCO will provide support to Pakistan in harmonising Customs data and for fast information sharing to ensure speedy movement of goods across the borders.
Khurram Dastgir Khan suggested further meetings to discuss the transit trade, tariff duties, harmonising of Customs data and installing a system to evaluate the quantum of smuggling.-PR