India to lead as vice-chair for the region at the WCO and here’s what it has planned

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India to lead as vice-chair for the region at the WCO and here’s what it has planned

  • India was just appointed as the vice-chair for the Asia Pacific region of the World Customs Organisation (WCO).
  • The WCO has a 182 different customs administrations under its helm while accounting for 98% of global trade.
  • India has put forward four principles that will guide its new leadership role.

For the next two years India will the vice-chair for the Asia Pacific region of the World Customs Organisation (WCO). Considering that the organisation collectively looks after around 98% for world trade, India in a leadership position should be a boon for the country.

It’s no secret that India serves as a strategic transit point for South Asia. Especially since ratifying the Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) and implementing the National Trade Facilitation Action Plan (NTFAP), the WCO has used India as an example that other nations should follow.

How can India lead?

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The WCO currently has 182 different customs administrations under its umbrella, all across the globe. And the organisation is focusing on e-commerce and the challenges that it poses to customs as well as security concerns regarding trade. The WCO thinks that a regional approach will be more effective as compared to a global modus operandi.

India itself has declared its four guiding principles for leadership. First, it hopes to harness greater communication and connectivity within the region. It’s understandable that this is an underlying principle, as it should be, but India hasn’t seen too much success in this arena considering what happened with SAARC.

Nonetheless, India will be the conduit between the Asia Pacific region and the rest of the world in terms of expressing the goals and priorities of the other nations within the paradigm. Its main role will be to find compromise between regional disagreements and global opinion.

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Next, India has said that it will harness technological advancements. Its imperative that India and the Asia Pacific region do so to keep up with global standards. The WCO instruments align member nations in an inclusive manner.

And this is not only in terms of adopting solutions that can handle the immense volume of trade, but also in terms of security and risk management. With gross increase in e-commerce and transactions on the ‘dark web’, the integration of technology is all the more important.

Finally, India is seeking consensus on core issues within the organisation. As the vice-chair India has more participatory power to be a part of global exchanges and discussions where its influence and opinion will be seriously considered.

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