World Customs Organization Secretary General Visit to Nepal
Dr. Kunio Mikuriya, Sectertary General, World Customs Organization visited Nepal from 10th July to 12th July, 2012. Mr. Yoshihiro Kosaka, Head, Regional Office for Capacity Building (ROCB AP), World Customs Organization accompanied Secretary General. During the visit, Secretary General paid a visit to Rt. Honorable Prime Minister Dr. Baburam Bhattarai, Honorable Finance Minister Mr. Barsha Man Pun, Former Finance Minister Dr. Ramsharan Mahat, Chief Secretary Mr. Madhav Prasad Ghimire, Finance Secretary Mr. Krishna Hari Baskota and Director General Dr. Mukti Narayan Paudel. Dr. Mikuriya also delivered key address in a program participated by the Industrial and Business Organizations and high ranking officials.
Rt. Honorable Prime Minister expressed that the macroeconomic indicators are performing well in spite of the political transition. He further added that the economic development would be accelerated once the political situation is stabilized. Rt. Honorable Prime Minister stressed that the role of Customs will be critical to augment trade and development of the nation in future as well. The Secretary General emphasized on WCO 3 "P" approach (Political will, People and Partnerships) as the guiding principle to achieve success in Customs reforms and modernization. Rt. Honorable Prime Mister Dr. Baburam Bhattarai added two "P"s, i.e., “Participation” and “Practices” as necessary elements for Nepal.
Finance Minister showed firm commitment to the Customs reform and modernization and expressed that Ministry of Finance is keen to accede to Revised Kyoto Convention as a blue print of Customs Reform and Modernization. Chief Secretary expressed satisfaction on the reform and modernization of Customs. Finance Secretary reiterated commitment for the reform and modernization of Customs. He highlighted key areas of concern and requested Secretary General for support. Finance Secretary requested to provide capacity development support to the Customs officials on the core areas of operations.
In the key address program, Secretary General expressed satisfaction on the reform and modernization in Customs. He mentioned that the Four Years Customs Reform and Modernization Action Plan of Customs is a model for other Customs Administration, which was well appreciated in the Donors Mobilization Workshop in Bangkok. Clarifying role of Customs in the promotion of industry and commerce, public safety through border management, the Secretary General had noted Nepalese customs is in the right direction.
At the program, Finance Secretary Mr. Baskota elaborated significant reforms achieved by Nepal in Customs along with other different sectors of the economy. He gave thanks to the WCO Secretary General for his personal interest in reform of Nepalese Custom administration. Finance Secretary said that Nepal have reduced tariff rate minimum based on WTO commitment. He further showed commitment that Nepal will access to Revised Kyoto Conversion to use as tool of Customs reform and modernization.”
The Director General of Department of Customs Dr. Mukti Narayan Paudel did welcome to all participants for their valuable presence and expressed his happiness at the Secretary General first visit to Nepal. Mr. Paudel said “The automation process in Customs was first stared since 1996 by introducing ASYCUDA and moving forward to automate it's all processes.” He also informed briefly on reforms initiatives being carried out in Customs administration, Customs procedures especially in automation and risk management.
In the program, the president of Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI) Mr. Suraj Vaidya, President of Nepal Chamber of Commerce Mr. Suresh Kumar Basnyat and Vice President of the Confederation of Nepalese Industries (CNI) Mr. Anuj Agrawal also expressed their views that Nepal Customs is moving towards prompt clearance of cargos by implementing the Four Years Customs Reform and Modernization Action Plan and stated their satisfaction for being WCO a catalyst for growth of trade and economy. All the dignitaries and speakers in the key address program appreciated the cooperation received and collaboration with the WCO for Nepal Customs reform and thanked for the first visit of Secretary General since Nepal became member of the WCO.