President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Islam Karimov met with Secretary General of the World Customs Organization Kunio Mikuriya, on May 4 in Oqsaroy.
Head of our state, welcoming the guest, said, “Your attendance of the 43rd Annual Meeting of the Asian Development Bank in Tashkent we perceive as a sign of respect for Uzbekistan and our region as a whole. Uzbek customs officials personally feel the practical support provided by the WTO in the development and introduction of modern methods and standards to the system and professional training in this field.
“In Uzbekistan we well understand the effective role played by the World Customs Organization in elaborating rules and procedures of international trade”, the President said.
International institutional integration of national customs structures on such a level was formalized back in 1947 and currently includes 176 countries. Its core functions are defined as development of trade standards, perfection of internationally recognized customs rules and procedures, improvement of the effectiveness of - and development of cooperation between - customs authorities of member states.
Uzbekistan has fruitfully cooperated with this international organization since its accession as early as 1992. In particular, “Development Strategy of Customs Services of the Republic of Uzbekistan for 2007-2010” was developed in 2007 together with WTO experts, and is today effectively put into practice. In the framework of this document, projects are implemented to introduce information technologies and modern equipment to the work of customs services, to augment the professional skills of officers in this sphere.
It should be noted that with the initiative of President of Uzbekistan Islam Karimov, a higher education institution unique to entire region was established in our country in 2003 that specializes in training highly qualified specialists in customs service. The national cynological center of the republic’s customs agency instituted earlier by the initiative of President Karimov, assumed the status of an organization of regional standing.
During the meeting in Oqsaroy, Kunio Mikuriya expressed his sincere gratitude to the head of our state for the warm welcome. “First of all, I was glad to learn that ADB chose the city of Tashkent for such a forum first in Central Asia”, Kunio Mikuriya said. “Back in 2002, when I served as deputy secretary general of WTO, Mr. Tadao Chino who then headed the ADB, invited me to a ministerial conference in Central Asia and talked a lot about Uzbekistan and admired You as a farsighted politician, economist and just a person. Thus, I would like to say Mr. President, that when I joined the Ministry of Finance of Japan, Tadao Chino was my principal, mentor, and I went through his school. My current visit represents a good opportunity to take a closer look at the life of the republic and the dynamics of its development”.
Secretary General gave his high appreciation of the wide-scale economic development strategy outlined by President Islam Karimov in his welcoming address to participants of the 43rd Annual Meeting of ADB Board of Governors. Kunio Mikuriya pointed out that especially praiseworthy is the work of customs authorities of the republic in improving the legislative framework, providing with modern equipment and technologies, special facilities, which allow to effectively organize the customs activities.
Issues related to further enhancing the interaction of the Republic of Uzbekistan with the World Customs Organization have been discussed at the occasion.