6th Global AEO Conference Concludes, “Shenzhen Action Plan” to Be Formulated

Themed “Leveraging the Advantages of the AEO System to Promote Inclusive and Sustainable Global Trade,” the conference facilitated extensive exchanges through eight plenary sessions, six breakout discussions, and four keynote speeches, jointly advancing the innovation and development of the AEO system to propel inclusive and sustainable global trade. Over 1200 representatives from customs administrations of more than 100 countries and regions, international organizations, enterprises, domestic ministries and commissions, local governments, domestic and international academic institutions, industry associations, and import and export businesses participated in this conference. During the opening ceremony, Ian Saunders, Secretary General of the World Customs Organization; Qin Weizhong, Mayor of Shenzhen; and Wang Lingjun, Vice Minister of the General Administration of Customs, delivered speeches. Saunders highly praised the Chinese implementation of the AEO system, and Wang Lingjun called on all participants to actively support the development of the AEO system by the World Customs Organization, to deepen AEO mutual recognition cooperation continually, to leverage the advantages of the AEO system, and to promote sustainable development of global trade.

Throughout the conference, delegates deeply engaged in discussions on topics such as the AEO system as a key driver for economic development and security, global mutual recognition and coordination of AEOs, sharing profound insights and professional views. Discussions also covered topics such as women’s empowerment within the AEO system, the role of AEOs in green supply chains and their social responsibilities, the role of AEOs in supporting e-commerce and cross-border trade, and the support for SME development. Futuristic and enlightening research was conducted on the integration of the AEO system with cutting-edge technologies in the realm of smart customs and emerging trends, potential challenges, and opportunities for the evolution of the AEO system over the next decade. The three-day agenda provided a splendid exchange feast, offering strong intellectual support for leveraging the advantages of the AEO system and continuously advancing the liberalization and facilitation of economic trade and investment.

Through comprehensive discussions, the conference fully articulated the significant role of the AEO system in leading international trade development, envisioned the future direction of the AEO system, and consolidated the consensus to continue solidifying and deepening cooperation to promote sustainable development of global trade.

During the conference, Sun Yuning, Vice Minister of the General Administration of Customs, shared China’s experiences and approaches regarding “the AEO system as a key driver for economic development and security.” Dang Yingjie, Chief of Nanchang Customs, delivered a speech on “Promoting Women’s Empowerment within the AEO System,” and representatives from Hangzhou Customs discussed the “Role of the AEO System in Supporting E-commerce and Cross-Border Trade,” vividly showcasing the successful practice of China’s AEO system and contributing “Chinese wisdom” to the construction of AEO systems in other countries and regions. Chinese companies such as Huawei, Tencent, Honor, and Tongfang Weishi narrated China’s story and enhanced the Chinese AEO brand through keynote speeches and group discussions.

During the conference, Chinese customs and enterprises demonstrated China’s innovative wisdom in the AEO system. Chinese customs fully displayed the level of China’s smart customs construction through interactive experiences with intelligent devices and robot explanations. Corporate booths innovatively showcased the facilitation measures enjoyed by enterprises after obtaining AEO qualifications and the strong support provided by the AEO system for enterprise development, highlighting the significant effectiveness of China’s AEO system in meeting enterprise development needs and aiding enterprise growth.

Brendan O’Hearn, Deputy Director of Compliance and Facilitation at the World Customs Organization, stated in the conference summary that the World Customs Organization Secretariat would formulate the “Shenzhen Action Plan” based on the results and consensus of the discussions. Lin Jiantian, Director of the Enterprise Management and Audit Department of the General Administration of Customs, proposed in the conference summary that customs administrations of the World Customs Organization members should promote the implementation of the AEO system in a broader scope and more countries and regions, further leverage the role of the AEO system, provide more policy benefits for enterprises, actively promote the construction of smart customs to make the implementation, evaluation, and mutual recognition cooperation of the AEO system more digital and intelligent, allowing enterprises to more conveniently enjoy the facilitation measures provided by customs, actively carry out AEO capacity-building assistance, provide help to countries with less perfect AEO systems and insufficient mutual recognition experience, continuously expand the implementation scope of the AEO system globally, and let the world share the dividends of the AEO system, and actively expand the applicability of the AEO system to provide AEO credit cultivation to emerging business types such as cross-border e-commerce and small, medium, and micro enterprises, thereby expanding the coverage of the AEO system.

This conference served as a bridge for communication between customs and customs, customs and the business community, and customs and other government departments. Its successful convening is of milestone significance in leveraging the advantages of the AEO system to promote inclusive and sustainable global trade. China Customs is steadily expanding openness, leading development, and promoting global trade cooperation for a mutually beneficial and better future.


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