April 30, 2011

ASEAN-Japan customs heads meet to accelerate trade facilitation cooperation


Customs chiefs from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and Japan gathered here on Friday in an effort to promote trade facilitation towards cross-border flow of goods in Asian region.

The meeting was chaired by Pen Simon, Cambodian director general of customs and excise department, and Atsuo Shibota, director general, customs and tariff bureau of Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, and Kunio Mikuriya, secretary general of World Customs Organization.

Speaking in the meeting, Pen Simon said that the meeting was vital for ASEAN-Japan customs heads to meet and exchange experiences on the concept of Asia Cargo Highway, which is a long term strategy to facilitate free flows of goods in Asia.

"Also, it is a chance to make closer relations and cooperation between ASEAN Japan customs officials," he said.

He added that the heads of customs had also discussed ways to simplify procedures, reduce fees and create favorable conditions for commercial exchange in order to help to boost economic development in the region.

The meeting was also attended by representatives from Asian Development Bank, which has been implementing a five year project to improve trade facilitation in ASEAN under the financial support of 25 million U.S. dollars from Japan.

ASEAN groups Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. 


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