ROCB A/P celebrates its 10th Anniversary



7 November 2014, Bangkok, Thailand


The ROCB A/P’s 10th Anniversary Ceremony was carried out on 7 November 2014 at the Sukhothai Hotel in Bangkok, Thailand. The Thai Customs Department, the host administration of the ROCB A/P since its inception in September 2014, generously hosted the ceremony, which was attended by a number of distinguished guests including Dr. Kunio Mikuriya, WCO Secretary General, Dato’ Sri Khazali bin Ahmad, Regional Vice-Chair and Director General of Royal Malaysian Customs Department, and former ROCB A/P staff members, including 2 former heads of the ROCB A/P, Mr. Takashi Matsumoto and Mr. Yoshihiro Kosaka.
At the ceremony, Dr. Somchai Sujjapongse, Director General of the Thai Customs Department, delivered his congratulatory remarks and re-affirmed his administration’s continued unsparing support for the ROCB A/P, which is the A/P region’s focal point for WCO capacity building activities. Dr. Kunio Mikuriya, WCO Secretary General and one of the twin fathers of the ROCB framework, spoke about the historical background of establishing the ROCB in Bangkok, the world’s fist of this kind, and the WCO’s continued efforts in contending with ever changing global picturenature of international trade and Customs administrations.    
Dato’ Sri Khazali bin Ahmad, the A/P Regional Vice-Chair, outlined his determination to use his leadership to foster further enhanced cooperation and coordination among the Customs administrations in the A/P region, including the collaboration with the ROCB A/P during his tenure in the office.   
Mr. Kazunari Igarashi, Head of the ROCB A/P made a speech and thanked all stakeholders for their unsparing support for the Office’s activities.  In his speech, Mr. Igarashi introduced all of the officials who served at the ROCB A/P as permanent staff and ad hoc supporters and complimented their great dedication and accomplishment. In concluding the speech, he pledged the ROCB A/P’s renewed determination to redouble its efforts in coordinating the capacity building for the benefit of the regional members in the next 10 years and beyond.    
Following the speeches, as a commemorative activity, all guests were invited to join a tree planting ceremony, which symbolizes the region’s cooperation for, and commitment to the rooting and blooming of the world’s first ROCB in the center of the Asia/Pacific region.  Guests poured soil and watered the twin trees, icons of the close relationship between the WCO and Asia/pacific region, as well as the twin fathers of the ROCB A/P. These trees were named “the ROCB Trees.” The Ceremony was concluded with a gala dinner hosted by Dr. Somchai, Director General of the Thai Customs Department.
The “ROCB Trees” were planted in the premises of the Thai Customs Department on 10 November 2014 jointly by Thai Customs Executives and the ROCB A/P staff members.  

The ROCB A/P staff members express sincere appreciation for the guests that attended the Ceremony and, most importantly, express profound appreciation to Dr. Somchai and all of the Thai Customs members who contributed a great deal to making the Ceremony a big success.

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