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U.S. Companies Discuss Customs Modernization and Trade Facilitation with ASEAN Customs DGs

(Bali, Indonesia) - The US-ASEAN Business Council is conducting its annual mission to the 26th Meeting of the ASEAN Directors-General of Customs in Indonesia this week, from May 15-17. For 20 years, the Council has held an annual consultation with the 10 ASEAN Directors-General of Customs to discuss the progress of ASEAN’s trade facilitation and customs integration efforts. The Council’s delegation of seven top U.S. companies is led by Shay Wester, Director of the Council’s Customs and Trade Facilitation Committee, and Shiumei Lin, Vice President of Public Affairs for UPS and Chair of the Council’s Customs and Trade Facilitation Committee.

“The US-ASEAN Business Council is glad to see the high priority placed on reducing both at-the-border and behind-the-border barriers in the ASEAN Economic Community Blueprint 2025 through initiatives like the ASEAN Single Window and the ASEAN Customs Transit System and we are eager to explore new ways to collaborate with ASEAN to maximize the business impact of their customs modernization work,” said Shay Wester. “High-quality customs systems that can both promote trade and protect citizens are critical to the success of the ASEAN Economic Community.”

During the consultation, the delegation will exchange views with the assembled Directors-General on how ASEAN countries can help capture the value of newly evolving patterns in international trade and strengthen regional supply chains. The delegation will emphasize how customs bureaus can meet the new challenges and opportunities of cross-border e-commerce, work with the private sector to improve supply chain security, and continue improving valuation methodologies for complex supply chains.

“Customs administrations throughout the world are important to the success of international business, especially in the new field of e-Commerce. UPS and the rest of the Council’s members look forward to expanding our collaboration with the ASEAN Directors-General of Customs and other regional leaders to unlock the potential of e-commerce, guard against evolving border risks, and manage more complex supply chains in support of the ASEAN Economic Community,” said Shiumei Lin. “The US-ASEAN Business Council’s members are excited to see that ASEAN is beginning to focus more on how customs reforms can enable regional e-commerce and empower SMEs and we are planning our own work to help ASEAN develop this promising field.”

The delegation is also meeting individually with the Customs Directors-General and other leaders from Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam to discuss trade and investment in their respective countries and then with the ASEAN Secretariat, the World Customs Organization, and the Australian Border Force to discuss their ongoing work and potential collaboration to support the development of customs regimes in ASEAN.

Companies participating in the delegation include General Motors, HP Inc, Philip Morris International, Procter & Gamble, Seagate Technology, Smiths Detection, and UPS.

For over 30 years, the US-ASEAN Business Council has been the premier advocacy organization for US corporations operating within the dynamic Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). Worldwide, the Council's 150+ membership generates over $6 trillion in revenue and employ more than 13 million people. Members include the largest US companies conducting business in ASEAN, and range from newcomers to the region to companies that have been working in Southeast Asia for over 100 years. The Council has offices in: Washington, DC; New York, NY; Bangkok, Thailand; Hanoi, Vietnam; Jakarta, Indonesia; Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; Manila, Philippines; and Singapore.

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This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More






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