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WCO calls for greater supply chain visibility

September 25, 2023
Reading Time: 2 minutes

Brussels- On 20 September 2023, Mr. Ricardo Treviño Chapa, Deputy Secretary General of the World Customs Organization (WCO), spoke at the third annual Global Trade and Supply Chain Summit organized by Economist Impact in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. In front of an audience of over 500 attendees made up of Chief Supply Chain Officers, Chief Financial Officers, Chief Technology Officers, Chief Executives, Managing Directors and other senior directors with responsibility for procurement and trade, supply chain management, technology, sustainability and compliance, as well as senior government officials and advisors, the Deputy Secretary General took part in a keynote interview titled “Getting things done at the World Customs Organization - next steps at the borders”. The interview was moderated by Gregg Carlstrom, Middle East correspondent, The Economist.

Some of the current challenges facing Customs were addressed during the interview. Against the global backdrop characterized by growing enforcement requirements, the discussion revolved around how Customs administrations worldwide are dealing with a heavier workload, using new technology and meeting the need for more and better skilled staff, and how the WCO is assisting its Members in these domains.

The Deputy Secretary General highlighted the need for bigger and better data management to allow greater supply chain visibility. This, in turn, will require strong collaboration with a range of stakeholders, including the private sector, in order to process and share information enabling Customs administrations to assess supply chain risks. Increased and more intensive use of technological solutions is key to Customs services efficiently performing their duties around the globe.

The event touched upon several themes including the effects of geopolitical and economic turmoil on planning and supply chain operations, digital trade and technology, the changing role of Customs organizations and compliance teams, and measuring and deploying sustainability initiatives along the supply chain. Economist Impact’s decision to organize the Global Trade and Supply Chain Summit reflects the ongoing transformation and regionalization of global trade and supply chains, along with the role that emerging markets such as the Middle East, Africa and South-East Asia will play in years to come.

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