Puducherry: 29th RCP meeting of Asia Pacific Customs begins

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News:India is hosting the World Customs Organization(WCO) Asia Pacific Regional Contact Points(RCP) conference in Puducherry.

Facts:

About the conference:

  • The conference is being held for the fourth time in India.Previously it was held in Jaipur and Cochin.
  • The conference discussed the key focus areas of the Asia Pacific Region.It includes security, enforcement, facilitation and capacity building.
  • The conference has also taken stock of the progress being made in carrying forward the programmes of WCO to promote,facilitate and secure the cross-border trade in the region and the capacity building and technical assistance required to achieve this goal.

Additional information:

About WCO:

  • The World Customs Organization(WCO) is an inter governmental organization headquartered in Brussels,Belgium.It was founded in 1952. 
  • It administers the technical aspects of WTO, agreements on customs valuation and rules of origin
  • WCO represents 182 Customs administrations across the globe that collectively process approximately 98% of world trade.
  • The WCO has divided its Membership into six Regions.Each of the six Regions is represented by a regionally elected Vice-Chairperson to the WCO Council.
  • WCO offers its members a range of Conventions and other international instruments, as well as technical assistance and training services provided either directly by the Secretariat, or with its participation.
  • It has also been responsible for administering the WTO’s agreement on Customs Valuation which provide a system for placing values on imported goods, and the Rules of Origin which are used to determine the origin of a given commodity.

Importance of Asia-Pacific region for India:

  • The Asia Pacific accounts to 37% of the world’s GDP.The region is important for India as it is trying to increase its trade and investment in the region. 
  • The development of North East Region is also linked with India’s interests in Asia Pacific.India is finding markets in the region for the export of goods from North East.
  • It is also essential for India to increase its presence in the region as China has larger interests in the region especially in the markets of the region.