TechConf Closing Hans Pieters

The 2023 WCO Technology Conference concludes with important take-aways

12 October 2023 marked the end of the 3-day WCO Technology Conference and Exhibition held in Ha Noi, Viet Nam under the theme “Embracing the Digital Age: Leveraging Technology, Fostering Innovation, and Nurturing the Next Generation of Customs Professionals”. In their closing remarks Nguyen Van Tho, Deputy Director General of Viet Nam Customs and Hans Pieters, Head of Administration and Personnel at the World Customs Organization thanked all involved in the Conference and outlined some key take-aways.

The Conference had highlighted the key role that human resources play when it comes to spearheading innovation and technology deployment. “Technology makes it possible, people will make it happen” was a quote from a speaker that eloquently summarized the insights shared in many of the conference sessions. This necessitated strong policy frameworks, continuous training, education and building technology literacy of staff.

The Conference sessions had also demonstrated an enhanced understanding within Customs administrations of the importance of data governance and building a data ecosystem.

There had been a strong call for standardization in many aspects related to technology deployment. The WCO work on the Data Model and the Unified File Format was highlighted in that regard, while taking note of the need for harmonization and global standards in other areas that were having an impact on how Customs administrations deploy and use advanced technologies.

What had also became evident in the discussions was an enhanced understanding and readiness for collaboration between Customs administrations, other government agencies, industry and academia. In this context, the WCO Technology Conference and Exhibition continues to be a prime forum for the sharing of information, insights, experiences and best practices.

The Conference closing session concluded with an announcement that the host of the 2024 WCO Technology Conference and Exhibition will be the Customs Administration of Egypt.

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