WCO – First Global Cross-Border E-Commerce Conference takes off

The First Global Cross-Border E-Commerce Conference, jointly organized by the World Customs Organization (WCO) and China Customs, was launched in Beijing, China today, 9 February 2018, sending out a concerted message on strengthening cooperation towards an innovative, inclusive, strategic and collaborative approach to sustainable cross-border e-commerce.

This Conference brings together over 2,000 high-level policy and decision makers, as well as operational experts, from Customs administrations, other government agencies, e-commerce operators, international organizations, regional economic communities, academia and other stakeholders in the cross-border e-commerce supply chain.

The WCO Secretary General, Dr. Kunio Mikuriya, welcomed the delegates and thanked China and all stakeholders for their active support with the organization of this First Global Cross-Border  E-Commerce Conference.  He stressed that: “This fast-evolving e-commerce environment and associated challenges require a comprehensive and well-considered policy and operational response from Customs and other border agencies, in partnership with other stakeholders.  A coordinated and collaborative approach between and among all stakeholders at the international, regional and national level is vital to achieve a safe, secure and sustainable e-commerce environment, leading to an inclusive global trade system and increased economic growth.”

In his inaugural speech, Mr. Wang Yang, member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and Vice-Premier of the People’s Republic of China, noted that: “We are here to support vital and progressive cross-border e-commerce. We must strive to do everything to support its continued growth.  We need to mutually expand the openness of the market, collaboratively establish commonly-followed supervision standards, enhance the cooperation and coordination mechanism among all parties, and improve the capacity building of underdeveloped countries.”

Outlining China’s success story in the e-commerce arena, Mr. Yu Guangzhou, Minister of China Customs, underscored that: “By improving regulation and services with innovative thinking and methods, we will offer a more transparent, stable and predictable trade environment for e-commerce and provide the public with safe, convenient and efficient access to global goods, in order to help people around the world realize their aspirations for a better life.”

The opening ceremony featured keynote speeches by Alibaba Group Executive Chairman Mr. Jack Ma, UPU Director General Mr. Bishar A. Hussein, ICAO Secretary General Dr. Fang Liu, and WTO Deputy Director General Mr. Xiaozhun Yi.  Several Ministers, Vice-Ministers, Directors General of Customs, head of various government agencies, heads of international business organizations and CEOs of various e-commerce operators also graced the event.

Through a range of plenary and breakout sessions, the two-day Conference will focus on embracing, seizing and leveraging opportunities presented by cross-border e-commerce, while exploring collaborative and innovative solutions enabling governments and the private sector to collectively address current and emerging challenges.

During his stay in Beijing, Secretary General Mikuriya visited Huawei Research & Development Institute in Beijing to meet Mr. Victor Zhang, President, Global Government Affairs, Huawei Technologies, a PSCG Member company.  They discussed the use of data in the Customs context, Huawei’s proposed solutions in the area of the Digital Customs and the benefits of AEO. Huawei has been granted AEO status in 19 countries and benefited from a significant reduction of clearance time at the borders. The Secretary General expressed appreciation for Huawei’s support for the WCO and its activities.

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