Customs Beefs up Services

Customs authorities for members of the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation (APEC) should strengthen their co-operation in order to boost trade in APEC areas, Wu Yi, a senior Chinese official, urged yesterday.

"Promotion of trade facilitation is the shared goal of customs and the business community," said State Councillor Wu. She made the remarks at the opening ceremony of the seventh APEC Customs-Business Dialogue (ACBD), whose theme was "The New Economy-Moving Customs-Business Partnership and Trade Facilitation to the Next Level."

Wu emphasized the importance of strengthening the partnership between the customs and business community and promoting trade facilitation.

She added that trade facilitation requires not only internal reform and modernization of customs and other government departments, but also facilitation, high-speed and low cost transportation, port authorities and finance, as well as insurance and trade services from the business community in shipping, cargo agency and customs brokerage.

"After entry into the WTO, China will adopt an all-around opening policy rather than the existing opening in limited fields and regions," said Wu. "China is now busy sorting out, revising and improving relative laws and regulations so as to establish a legal system in accordance with international rules and practices."

She believes that China customs authorities have made many beneficial explorations in the areas of advancing trade efficiency and facilitating enterprises in recent years.

Statistics show that within two decades, from 1979 to 2000, China's foreign trade volume increased from US$20 billion to over US$470 billion, a more than twenty fold jump.

Wu revealed that China's customs has improved the efficiency of customs clearance while tightening control and enhancing the publicity and transparency of law enforcement.

Customs is actively advancing the construction of the "E-port Law Enforcement System" to facilitate the business handling of import and export related formalities on the net, giving full play to the overall effectiveness of port law enforcement and improving trade efficiency.

(China daily 08/14/2001)

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