Customs authorities from CAREC and South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation programs, with support from the CAREC Institute and Asian Development Bank (ADB)–People’s Republic of China (PRC) Regional Knowledge Sharing Initiative, shared knowledge, experience, and best practice on challenging aspects of trade facilitation reform and modernization efforts, and identified critical success factors for effective trade facilitation measures for efficient trade flow, resource allocation, and improved regional cooperation.
Shane Rosenthal, country director, ADB Resident Mission in Georgia; Iskandar Abdullaev, deputy director, CAREC Institute; and Samson Uridia, head of International Relations Department, Georgia Revenue Service opened the session and welcomed the participants.
Presentations were made by ADB and CAREC officials on specific topics, including (i) progress made on the CAREC Advanced Transit System and Information Common Exchange; (ii) shared successes and lessons learned from implementing the Joint Customs Control pilot project of PRC and Mongolia; (iii) status and plans for the Tajikistan Regional Improvement of Border Services project; (iv) features and achievements of establishing the National Trade and Transport Facilitation Committee in Pakistan; and (v) the “Golden List” Program of Georgia, which grants certain customs simplifications to trusted companies when importing and/or exporting goods to and from Georgian customs territory.
An intersessional meeting of the CAREC Customs Cooperation Committee (CCC) was also organized to discuss follow-up actions to last CCC Meeting and priority projects and activities for 2019–2020. The CCC also discussed mechanisms to update progress in CCC priority areas, and to track progress in implementing the provisions of the World Trade Organization (WTO) Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA), and brainstormed on how to showcase CCC achievements during the 20th anniversary of the CAREC Program in 2020.
A visit to the Red Bridge Border-Crossing Point between Georgia and Azerbaijan was also arranged by the Georgia Revenue Service to familiarize participants on efforts made in coordinated border management.
The forum and the intersessional CCC meeting were supported by the ADB regional technical assistance special fund, through the ‘Better Customs for Better Client Services in Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation Countries’ project.
Key Documents (Inter-Subregional Knowledge-Sharing Forum)
Presentation Materials (Inter-Subregional Knowledge-Sharing Forum)
Key Documents (Intersessional Meeting)
Presentation Materials (Intersessional Meeting)