Strong political support for Customs modernization in Uzbekistan
At the invitation of the Chairman of the State Customs Committee, Mr. Murotjon Azimov, WCO Secretary General Kunio Mikuriya visited Tashkent, Uzbekistan on 6 and 7 March 2019 to deliberate on further cooperation with Uzbek Customs.
Dr. Mikuriya went to Customs Headquarters for a meeting with Chairman Azimov and his management team to discuss the recent progress made with Customs reform, including the introduction of an automated risk management system. Customs officers recognized for their professionalism in Customs and their contribution to society were then awarded WCO certificates. Visits to both the Customs Museum and Laboratory were also organized on this occasion.
Secretary General Mikuriya met with Uzbekistan’s Prime Minister, Mr. Abdulla Aripov, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Mr. Jamshid Kuchkarov, and Deputy Minister of Investment and Foreign Trade, Mr. Badriddin Abidov, to consider the way forward in terms of cooperation between the WCO and Uzbekistan.
Prime Minister Aripov described his concept of economic reform as being based on an open-door policy, expressed his appreciation for the WCO’s assistance with Customs reform and shared his vision of establishing modern Customs checkpoints, given his country’s strategic location and the importance of transit for landlocked countries. Dr. Mikuriya welcomed the Uzbek Government’s political support for the use of WCO instruments and tools as well as its focus on human resource development and utilization of technology. Both parties agreed on the importance of enhancing cooperation to ensure trade connectivity among the different countries of Central Asia.
Dr. Mikuriya subsequently visited the Highway Logistics Center located on the outskirts of Tashkent, where Customs has introduced a paperless system to clear goods originating from various countries, including China, Turkey, Gulf countries and Europe. Other official state services are also available at the Center.
Finally, Dr. Mikuriya delivered a keynote speech at the Customs Institute in Tashkent, during which he stressed the importance of human resource development as a key component in preparing the future of Customs. He engaged with the Institute’s students through a question and answer session and shared his comments on a research paper presented by the students.