We evaluated the 6th Global AEO conference held in China in How Bir Economy Newspaper.

We evaluated the 6th Global AEO conference held in China in How Bir Economy Newspaper.

Concise words from the Secretary General of the World Customs Organization!

The 6th WCO Global AEO Conference was held in Shenzhen, China. At the conference, where the opening speech was made by the Secretary General of the World Customs Organization (WCO), Mr. Ian Saunders, and many participants from around the world participated, Saunders said; “It is our responsibility to announce AEO to the world,” he said.

While more than 1,200 participants from a total of 108 countries participated in the event, whose theme this year was "Leveraging the Power of AEO Programs for Inclusive and Sustainable Global Trade", from Turkey, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Association of Authorized Economic Operators (AEO), Mr. Mehmet Altay Yegin, said: General Secretary Mr. Aysun Yılmaz and Board Member Mr. Elçin Can İnan attended.

The opening ceremony was graced by Mr. Wang Lingjun, Deputy Minister of the General Administration of Customs of China (GACC), and Mr. Qin Weizhong, Mayor of Shenzhen, as well as other distinguished guests and delegates. Ian Saunders, Secretary General of the World Customs Organization, made an opening speech to launch the programme; He thanked the General Administration of Customs of China for its cooperation and continuous efforts in organizing and successfully conducting the conference. Saunders continued: “AEOs epitomize the synergy between customs authorities and business, fostering a collaborative environment where trade efficiency and security are paramount. The importance of AEOs goes beyond just operational benefits. “The AEO program embodies our shared commitment to a transparent, secure and resilient commerce ecosystem,” he said. In this sense, Saunders emphasized the importance of disseminating the benefits of AEO programs across the entire spectrum of global trade participants and underlined that the power of the programs increases with the participation of a wide range of stakeholders. He also added that customs will enrich the fabric of global trade by including more SMEs into the AEO family.

GACC Deputy Minister thanked the WCO for the conference held in Shenzhen and underlined China's leadership role in AEO implementation. And he reiterated China's willingness to further support other customs administrations in adopting and implementing AEO programs. The Mayor of Shenzhen expressed his satisfaction with the selection of the city of Shenzhen to hold the conference, and listed the various innovative programs adopted by the city.

Intense Interest from Non-Governmental Organizations to the Conference

The exhibition, which ran parallel to the conference, provided ample opportunities for networking and obtaining detailed information about AEO programs around the world, as well as discussing the unique opportunities to shape the future of AEO programs and their impact on global trade. There was also intense participation from non-governmental organizations in the conference. In this context, Rosa Avila, Head of Authorized Economic Operator of the General Directorate of Customs of the Dominican Republic, said: “It is necessary to increase inclusive trade with global alliances in order to participate in projects that improve gender equality. We aim to add a global value chain to SMEs and women-owned businesses. We strive to raise awareness through private sector associations. "We will hold a workshop on the subject in June 2024," he said.

Hints for the Future Era Were Given at This Conference

In addition to the presentations, interactive streams provided an in-depth discussion on specific topics, including the expansion of AEO programs into free zones, promoting an AEO culture in customs authorities and the private sector. Additionally, as a result of this event, it was decided to prepare a draft Shenzhen Action Plan to be discussed at the 30th WCO Safe Working Group Meeting to be held in November 2024. This draft plan will bring together the key points of the conference, suggest possible pathways for the various topics discussed and provide a supporting basis for the Safe Working Group's new draft 'Work Programme' covering the period 2025-2028. Therefore, the conference focused on AEO's such as leveraging data analytics and new technologies for good risk management and trade facilitation, empowering women through AEO programmes, the role of the AEO program in supporting e-commerce and cross-border trade in the digital age, expanding the AEO program to free zones and assessing the impact of the AEO programme. He touched upon a wide variety of topics related to

In this context, the 6th WCO Global AEO Conference lasted approximately three days and consisted of 8 plenary sessions; It has been a testament to the collaborative effort required to foster a safe, efficient and inclusive global trading environment. Therefore, it is anticipated that the issues discussed and decisions taken at the conference will have a lasting impact on the development and implementation of AEO programs worldwide and will help shape a more integrated and fair global trading system.