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11th Asia Europe Meeting begins in Panaji

Date 09-Oct-2015
Subject 11th Asia Europe Meeting begins in Panaji

PANAJI: The 11th Asia Europe Meeting (ASEM) of Directors General-Commissioners of Customs began here today. 

The ASEM was inaugurated by Najeeb Shah, Chairman of the Central Board of Excise and Customs, who called for increased collaboration and data sharing among agencies. 

"Emerging demands and changing dynamics of growing international mobility of goods and capital demand greater cooperation among ASEM administrations. On the one hand, we have to mobilize and facilitate legitimate trade, (and) on the other, we are at the forefront in the fight against the import of dangerous and harmful goods," Shah said in his inaugural address. 

The meeting aims to review the progress achieved since the previous ASEM held in Vienna (Austria) in 2013 and to chalk out the future course of action till the next meeting, scheduled in Germany in 2017. 

The two-day meeting will focus on the five main priorities of ASEM - trade facilitation and supply chain security, combating infringement on Intellectual Property Rights (IPR), protection of society and environment, involving business and communications and visibility. 

"Let us stand on the rich legacy of 20 years and the journey of ASEM. ASEM has constantly been reinventing itself to keep pace with the momentum of social and political changes. Now it is again time to take stalk of the progress in the last few decades and steer our future trajectory of cooperation under the ambit of ASEM," Shah, who is chairing the meeting, said. 

India is hosting the Heads of Customs Administration meeting for the first time since joining the ASEM forum in 2008. Heads of Customs Administration and delegates from 53 member states of ASEM - 30 from Asia, 21 from Europe and two international organizations - the European Commission and the ASEAN Secretariat are in attendance. 

Kunio Mikuriya, Secretary General of the 180-member World Customs Organization (WCO), would be present at the event as an observer. 

The meeting would conclude with the signing of the Goa Declaration which is expected to take place tomorrow afternoon. 

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