PANAJI: The 11th Asia Europe Meeting (ASEM) of Directors General-Commissioners of Customs began here today with India emphasising the need for stepping up collaborations and data-sharing among the countries of Asia and Europe in view of changing dynamics of international mobility of goods and capital.
Inaugurating the meet, Chairman of the Central Board of Excise and Customs Najeeb Shah said the emerging scenario called for increased cooperation among agencies concerned.
"Emerging demands and changing dynamics of growing international mobility of goods and capital demand greater cooperation among ASEM administrations. On the one hand, we have to mobilise and facilitate legitimate trade, and, on the other, we are at the forefront in the fight against the import of dangerous and harmful goods," Shah said.
The meeting aims at reviewing the progress achieved since the previous ASEM held in Vienna (Austria) in 2013 and chalking out the future course of action till the next round, scheduled in Germany in 2017.
The two-day meeting will focus on the five main priorities of ASEM - trade facilitation and supply chain security, combating infringement on Intellectual Property Rights (IPR), protection of society and environment, involving business and communications and visibility.
"Let us stand on the rich legacy of 20 years and the journey of ASEM. ASEM has constantly been reinventing itself to keep pace with the momentum of social and political changes. Now it is again time to take stock of the progress in the last few decades and steer our future trajectory of cooperation under the ambit of ASEM," Shah, who is chairing the meeting, said.
India is hosting the meeting for the first time since joining the ASEM forum in 2008.
Heads of Customs Administration and delegates from 53member states of ASEM - 30 from Asia, 21 from Europe and two international organisations - the European Commission and the ASEAN Secretariat -- are in attendance.
The meeting would conclude tomorrow with the signing of the Goa Declaration.