Official Visit of WCO Secretary General to LAO PDR
5 November 2014, Vientiane, Laos PDR
Upon the invitation of LAO PDR Customs, Dr. Kunio Mikuriya, Secretary General of the WCO and Mr. James Wong of the ROCB A/P made an official visit to Lao PDR from 5 to 6 November 2014.
On 5 November, Dr. Mikuriya visited the Lao-Thai Friendship Bridge 1 International Customs Checkpoint, Regional Customs Office V. The visit provided both Lao PDR Customs officers and himself with an opportunity to communicate with each other about the practical border control perspective. They exchanged views on the operation of the Bridge, Customs valuation, certificate of origins and AYSCUDA (the electronic system for handling Customs data). During the visit, Lao PDR Customs officers were also informed of the operation of the ROCB A/P which organizes and coordinated capacity building activities for the 33 WCO members in the A/P region.
On 6 November, Dr. Mikuriya paid courtesy calls to the Chairperson of Economic, Planning and Finance Committee, the National Assembly; Minister of Finance; Deputy Prime Minister (in charge of Macro-Economics and Service Sectors Deputy); Minister of Foreign Affairs; and Minister of Industry and Commerce. During these courtesy calls, he emphasized that the WCO’s keen expectation for the Lao PDR’s early accession to the Revised Kyoto Convention (RKC), which was well received by these high-ranking officials. Dr. Mikuriya was informed of the planned revision of the relevant laws in Lao PDR towards the accession to the RKC.
There was also discussion of the provision of technical assistance to Lao PDR. In this respect, Dr. Mikuriya briefly explained the work of the ROCB A/P. Mr. Wong provided the Lao PDR offices with a copy of the ROCB A/P Annual Reports 2013/2014 so that the officers concerned could have a better understanding of the WCO tools/technical assistance and capacity building activities in the A/P region.