On 26 April 2021, at the invitation of World Trade Organization (WTO) Director-General Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, a meeting was held with the World Customs Organization (WCO) Secretary General Dr. Kunio Mikuriya at WTO’s headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. They agreed on further cooperation between the two organisations in a wide range of areas.
The WCO SG congratulated the WTO DG on her recent appointment and expressed his eagerness to work with her, noting that she had acquired a good insight into Customs during her professional career, including her tenure as Nigeria’s Minister of Finance. He discussed the long-standing and successful cooperation between the two organisations and expressed his wish to continue the good working relationship.
The WTO DG expressed her appreciation and thanks for the useful recommendations provided by the WCO SG during a recent WTO event, and also shared her desire to further enhance the cooperation between the WTO and the WCO.
The WTO DG and WCO SG touched upon a number of broad areas of mutual interest, including the traditional fields of Harmonized System (HS), Valuation and Origin, as well as Trade Facilitation and E-Commerce. They also explored ways to jointly address the urgent challenge of facilitating the cross-border movement of COVID-19 vaccines while monitoring and securing global supply chains in order to combat the circulation of dangerous, sub-standard or counterfeit medicines and vaccines.
Story by: Riaan de Lange