Interior Minister attends WCO meeting

Interior Minister, General Shaikh Rashid bin Abdullah Al Khalifa, attended the General Policies Meeting of the World Customs Organisation (WCO) today. Held for the first time in the region, the meeting was chaired by the President of Customs and Chairperson of the WCO, Shaikh Ahmed bin Hamad Al Khalifa, in the presence of WCO General Secretary, Kunio Mikuriya.

The Interior Minister delivered the following speech: “In the beginning, I would like to thank you all in the Kingdom of Bahrain, which its archipelagic nature gives it an openness to the world and customs culture and work. Along with the understanding of the concept.

I’m glad to be among you today and find myself in an environment close to me. I started my career at the Bahrain Customs Directorate. I had the opportunity to closely know organisations and individuals in the customs community and the vital role of the customs, in general.

No doubt, the meeting comes out of the dedication to reinforcing economic security and security cooperation between WCO member countries. Its advanced and modern initiatives actively contribute to the recovery of the sustainable supply chain and the creation of the required flexibility after the pandemic, negatively impacting the world economy. Customs have a role in eliminating hindrances during international crises. At the beginning of this meeting, I’m glad to hail your efforts in reinforcing international security and your active role in fighting cross-border crimes. I assert the role of the organisation in developing the international cooperation system, in which its operations focus on professional sustainability and the development of customs standards per the latest systems and technology.

Honourable attendees, all of you know that customs represent one of our main lines of the security strategy of the Interior Ministry through the utilisation of modern technology in border protection, developing customs capabilities, facilitating travel and trade movement and community protection. All that because of the directives and support of His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa and the guidance of His Royal Highness Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, the Crown Prince and Prime Minister, to enable the customs to carry out its responsibility and for the Kingdom of Bahrain to have an active role in International organisations.

This approach enabled Bahrain Customs to gain distinguished status, including winning the President of Customs, Shaikh Ahmed bin Hamad Al Khalifa, the international trust and becoming the chairperson of the WCO council. Within the potentials and increasing challenges, we are looking toward the best way to overcome obstacles and provide high services through expanding the digital transformation, adopting development operations and facilitating operations to promote security and general safety. All that is for the customs to continue to be a supporter of the national economy.

Once again, I welcome you to the Kingdom of Bahrain and wish you the best outcomes from your meeting. Thanks.”

Meanwhile, the Chairperson of the WCO Council opened the meeting with a speech in which he welcomed the attendees and highlighted the history of the customs operations in Bahrain that date back to 1860, revealing the first Customs building in 1937. He highlighted the development of Bahrain Customs in the last few years, including Bahrain joining the WCO in 2001.

The WCO General Secretary thanked the Kingdom of Bahrain for its role in facilitating trade and the role of the Interior Minister in supporting the organisation.

The meeting discussed several issues pertaining to coordinating the WCO programmes and evaluating the benefit of the international platform to exchange customs data and the organisation’s strategic plan for 2022-2025.

Source: Bahrain News Agency

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