Impression of Vietnam Customs at ASEM 13 forum

VCN- Meeting of Directors General of Customs of Asia-Europe Economic Cooperation Forum 13th(ASEM 13) took place in Ha Long City, Quang Ninh on 9 and 10 October and is considered to have achieved good results, leaving many impressedbythe role and contribution of Vietnam Customs with Vietnam integrating deeply into the globaleconomy.  
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The Meeting of the General Director of Customs of the Asia-Europe Economic Cooperation Forum 13th (ASEM 13) was attended by about 150 delegates from 53 delegations, who were General Directors and High Commissioners of Customs' agencies of ASEM member countries, General Secretary of the World Customs Organization (WCO), European Union and representatives of the Embassies of ASEM member countries in Vietnam. Photo: H.Nu.

Leave a beautiful impression

ASEM 13, the largest diplomatic event until to now hosted by the Vietnam Customs has closed. For the Customs,ASEM 13is a big and proud event because it is the first time that the Vietnam Customs has hosted an international event. ASEM 13is the event confirming the initiative of Vietnam Customs in contributing to Asia-Europe customs cooperation. In the views of delegates, the Vietnam Customs was very successful as the host country of ASEM 13. As commented by Dr. Kunio Mikuriya, General Secretary of WCO:“The Vietnam Customs has made great contribution in customs cooperation of ASEM member countries. This conference is a very significant event that helped connect ASEM member Customs agencies together. The Vietnam Customs held the conference perfectly and wonderfully, we felt warm and friendly.”

Sabine Henzler, Director of the European Union Tax and Customs (EU TAXUD) appreciated the contribution of Vietnam Customs to ASEM Customs cooperation and the organization of the conference. “I think Vietnam has made great contributions in customs cooperation among ASEM member countries. You organized a very thoughtful and solemn meeting, we were able to join the dinner party in a happy, warm and friendly atmosphere,” said Sabine Henzler.

Not only remarking the meeting was well-prepared, Canda Sinpaseuth, Department of International Cooperation, Lao Customs Department, assessed that the Vietnam Customs held a conference where all delegates could talk, confide and learn many valuable experiences; as well as visit the beautiful landscapes of Vietnam. Indeed, the Vietnam Customs made great contributions, helping Customs authorities of ASEM member countries getcloser together.

ASEM 13 left a good impression on delegates of international customs offices and also made a mark with images of delegates from ASEM member countries' Customs surrounding to exchange information with Sabine Henzler, Director of the European Union Tax and Customs office; image of Deputy General Director - Head of Vietnam Customs Mai Xuan Thanh friendly stand in the corridor to exchange experiences with delegates from other countries; the image of customs officials who organized the content and logistics of the congress to take notes and observe for coordination; the images of L/O people (guide, connection) working hard to guide delegates to visit and explore the landscapes and people of Vietnam.

With the reception, the discussions, meetings and exchanges in an open, sincere atmosphere, the content was deep, and reality, the activities of ASEM 13 really created a new impression and position, for new heights of the Vietnamese Customs in the international arena.

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General Director Nguyen Van Can congratulatesparticipants at the ASEM 13 Conference hosted by Vietnam Customs. Photo: H.Nu.

Connecting and cooperating in many fields

The ASEM 13 Conference closed and in the closing session took place on the morning of October 10, 2019, the leaders of the ASEM member countries' Customs authorities agreed on the Customs Action Plan, the Ha Long Declaration and appreciated the role of Vietnam Customs in organizing the conferences. In particular, ASEM 13 reached a consensus in focusing on activities for the next twoyears (2020 - 2021) with threespecific goals.

According to representatives of many Customs authorities of ASEM member countries, these were priority issues not only for ASEM Customs but also for global customs issues, so they would be suitable to implement in the future. In addition, ASEM connectivity would also be an important planfor the cooperation priorities of ASEM Customs.

According to General Director of Customs Nguyen Van Can, as a host country, Vietnam participated in the agenda of the conference, it affirmed ASEM was an important forum which Customs of Asian – EUcountries cooperated to implement initiatives aimed at managing efficiency through trade facilitation and control of the supply chain’s security and safety. In particular, it showed unified coordination in the implementation of cooperation activities in the multilateral framework and the ASEM talks in particular, the Vietnam Customs developed an agenda with the participation of the chief of high-ranking ASEM, in which it emphasized the promotion of multilateral cooperation for peace and development. In the context that connectivity was becoming a new focus of cooperation of ASEM, this conference was a practical activitycontributing significantly to the implementation of the guidance of the leaders of Asia - Europe on the ASEMAction Planabout the connection.

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The Vietnam Customs Delegation headed by Deputy General Director Mai Xuan Thanh participates in the ASEM 13. Photo: H.Nu.

As the host country in 2020-2021, Vietnam Customs affirmed that it would perform actively the role of linking among the two regions to realize the cooperation activities that all would build in the next cooperation plan2020-2021.“I also believe the conference is a chance to open new opportunities to meet and connect among ASEM members and promote the good relations inherent. The Vietnam Customs is looking forward to continuing to receive the valuable support and cooperation of WCO, European Union, OLAF and ASEM member Customs agencies, especially in exchanging information and sharing experiences in the fields of customs operations,” General Director Nguyen Van Can emphasised.

Not only politics, ASEM 13 brought good economic development opportunities for Vietnam and its member economies. The interaction and the attention of policy makers will be transformed into policies and commitments of ASEM 13, which will have a favourable impact on the business and production process of enterprises.

Besides, the convergence of the leading regional and global dynamic economies such as Japan, South Korea andAustralia will bring many opportunities to connect Vietnamese enterprises with the leading enterprises of the world and seek opportunities for business cooperation.

ASEM 13 wasa forum to create interactions between Vietnam Customs and Customs authorities of ASEM member countries and vice versa. ASEM 13 made a strong impression of the Vietnamese Customs in the international arena and was highly appreciated by delegates for the successful organisation, reception and implementation. The good things about ASEM 13 will remain forever in every delegate and friend in the world.

By Hong Nu/ Binh Minh

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