Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation (CAREC) program is a partnership of 10 countries (Azerbaijan, Afghanistan, People’s Republic of China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Mongolia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Pakistan) and 6 multilateral institutions (Asia development bank, United Nations development program, European bank for reconstruction and development, World bank, International monetary fund, Islamic development bank) which promote cooperation in order to ensure poverty reduction and economic growth.
By focusing on four priority areas of transport, trade facilitation, energy, trade policy in the Central Asia, CAREC organizes regular Senior officials’ meetings and member countries’ Ministerial conference with aim of promoting trade and economic growth, supporting infrastructure development project, and implementing other projects.
Trade facilitation area/Customs Cooperation Committee (CCC) mainly works and ensures to achieve the objectives of transport and trade facilitation strategy. Therefore it promotes to develop cooperation between CAREC member states’ customs administrations and improves cooperation between border authorities, traders, and transport companies.
Mr. Asralt Batbold, Director General of Mongolian Customs General Administration (MCGA) and Ms. Unurtsetseg Norov, senior customs officer of International Cooperation Division of MCGA have attended in the 15th annual meeting of the Customs Cooperation Committee (CCC) which held with support of Asian Development Bank from 21 to 22 October, 2016 in Singapore. From the meeting, the following topics are agreed to be endorsed to the Senior Officials’ meeting.
• Start a simple and integrated information exchange pilot among and between CAREC member states’ customs administrations. Since, a simple information exchange does not require any technical solution/assessment; it can be conducted in Kyrgyz, Mongolia and Tajikistan.
• Piloting regional transit guarantee mechanism in countries which belong to 1b and 1c of CAREC transit corridor
• Kyrgyz, Mongolia, Pakistan, and Tajikistan have started the implementation of Regional improvement of border services (RIBS) project and implementation process has been introduced. The meeting highlighted the Regional Upgrade of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures for Trade (RUST) project which will be implemented by Mongolia as a first country of CAREC member states.
• Establishment of National trade facilitation committees (NTFCs) is highly encouraged due to the coordination between multiple countries and agencies is very important regarding trade facilitation. Moreover establishment of Regional trade facilitation committee is mandated in the CAREC Transport and Trade facilitation strategy 2020.
• Private sector dialogue with Customs Cooperation Committee is a one day meeting to discuss the challenges faced and possible solutions for trade facilitation which has been started since 2015. Therefore the joint capacity building to strengthen the cooperation between public and private sector has been supported.
The report and recommendations made by Customs Cooperation Committee will be introduced to CAREC Senior Officials’ meeting and result from the meeting will be endorsed to the CAREC Ministerial Conference for further actions and decisions.