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Uganda hosts World Customs Organisation ESA meeting

WCO Sec Gen Kunio Mikuriya, Uganda’s Deputy Treasury Secretary Patrick Ocailap, URA CG Doris Akol, SARS CG Tom Moyane and URA Customs chief Kateshumbwa

Representatives from 24 countries of the World Customs Organisation (WCO) of East and Southern Africa are in Uganda to participate in a two-day 22nd governance council meeting that is discussing tax matters.

The Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development and the Uganda Revenue Authority are taking the lead in this meeting on behalf of the government of Uganda.

Speaking at the opening of the meeting at Speke Resort Munyonyo, Doris Akol, the Commissioner General for URA, said the meeting would discuss customs challenges related to illicit trade, money laundering and threats like terrorism financing that come along with this practice. The other issues are relating with cross border security, diversion of transit cargo, technology evolution and more.

“These problems are not an end to themselves…they make us look for opportunities and share solutions to manage them,” Akol said.

Kunio Mikuriya, the WCO secretary general said managing customs challenges needs concerted efforts, skills and expertise.

“…when we do that then we will not only be boosting revenue collection but also facilitating trade,” Mikuriya said.

He said that workable customs reforms and policies would support growth of regional integration for various countries and promote economic growth.

In a speech, Finance Minister Matia Kasaija, said government is implementing good customs policies and ultimately easing the cost of doing business which is important in transforming Uganda into a prosperous and good investment country.

Over 50 participants are taking part in the meeting.

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