ASEM 13 Promoting and Enhancing Multilateral Foreign Relations

10:14:13 AM | 10/21/2019

Fulfilling its obligations within the framework of the Asia-Europe Cooperation Forum (ASEM), the General Department of Vietnam Customs hosted the 13th ASEM Directors General/Commissioners’ Meeting on October 9-10 in Ha Long city, Quang Ninh.

In the period of 2018-2019, ASEM customs cooperation includes four main priorities which were adopted at the 12th ASEM General Directors Meeting of Customs in Germany: (i) Facilitating trade and security chain supply; (ii) Fighting against counterfeiting and enforcing Intellectual Property Rights; (iii) Social and environmental protection; and (iv) Connecting ASEM community and vision. These are also four priorities throughout ASEM customs cooperation activities from 2009 to the present. Therefore, the discussions of the 13th ASEM Directors General/ Commissioners’ Meeting also revolved around these four priorities in order to propose, build and unify specific operational programs included in the ASEM Customs Action Plan for the period 2020-2021. Especially, ASEM 13 focused on Vietnam's initiative on the Green Customs campaign to prevent illegal transportation of waste.

Based on the four priority areas mentioned above, to fulfill the commitment of ASEM Leaders at the ASEM Summit in October 2018 in Belgium to strengthen ASEM connectivity, enhance security and safety for ASEM citizens, promote the multilateral trading system, promote WTO reforms and fulfil the obligations of WTO members including the implementation of the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement, and promote ASEM cooperation on cross-border trade, it is expected that the activities of the ASEM Customs Action Plan for the period 2020-2021 will include: (i) Facilitating trade and non-paper customs procedures; (ii) Implementing the one-stop shop mechanism in the context of the application of artificial intelligence and blockchain technology, (iii) effective customs control using high technology, (iv) implementing green customs campaign. in order to prevent illegal transportation of scrap and waste, (v) implementing customs operations to prevent counterfeit and pirated goods and effectively enforce border intellectual property rights, (vi) connecting ASEM through information sharing and exchange mechanism, (vii) cooperating with ASEM in transit and transshipment activities and (viii) customs management for electronic commerce.

The Ha Long Declaration represents the commitment of the Directors General of ASEM Customs to the goals and priorities of ASEM customs cooperation in the future, as well as the ASEM Customs Action Plan for 2020-2021 with operational programs officially approved at this conference.

The ASEM Directors General/ Commissioners’ Meeting serves as a forum to guide and direct working groups in implementing the action plan in stages approved by the Directors General of the Customs of ASEM.

Together with the spirit of promoting and enhancing multilateral foreign relations in the spirit of Directive 25-CT/TW, the chairing of the Meeting of the Directors General of ASEM Customs affirmed the initiative in contributing to the orientation for customs cooperation with Eurasian Customs; contributed to creating regional connectivity and cooperation in customs in the context of the strong industry 4.0, along with the fact that the world is facing challenges in trade, security, terrorism, illegal transportation of dangerous goods to the environment and society with increasingly complex and sophisticated efforts on a large scale.

In addition to the task of reaching priority content agreements in the ASEM 2020-2021 Action Plan, Vietnam Customs also focused on the propaganda, reception, logistics to promote Vietnam’s culture to regional and international friends.