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OCO Secretariat signs MOU with MSG Secretariat

The Oceania Customs Organisation (OCO) Secretariat and the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) Secretariat have signed a Memorandum of Understand­ing. They will share information and techni­cal expertise on interest areas such
15 Nov 2018 10:33
OCO Secretariat signs MOU with MSG Secretariat
From left sitting: The Oceania Customs Organisation (OCO) secretariat head Roy Lagolago, Secretariat and the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) director-general Amena Yauvoli (right) with their staff at the OCO Conference Room in Suva, Fiji on November 13, 2018. Photo: Sheenam Chandra

The Oceania Customs Organisation (OCO) Secretariat and the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) Secretariat have signed a Memorandum of Understand­ing. They will share information and techni­cal expertise on interest areas such as trade facilitation, revenue mobilisation and bor­der security.

This MOU was signed between the OCO Head of Secretariat Roy Lagolago and MSG Director General Amena Yauvoli at the OCO Conference Room in Suva on Tuesday.

“Two weeks ago the MSG Secretariat had supported the OCO Secretariat by co-financ­ing a workshop on regional trade and World Trade Organisation (WTO) trade facilita­tion agreement implementation for senior customs officials from the MSG sub-region,” said Mr Yauvoli.

“This collaborative action and partnership enables customs officials to identify strate­gies towards the implementation of the new Melanesian Free Trade Agreement for MSG member countries.

“The successful conclusion of the sub-re­gional workshop for senior officials from cus­toms administration in the MSG countries brings to the fore the need to forge new part­nerships with strategic regional institutions such as the OCO Secretariat.”

Collaborative partnership

Through their collaborative partnership the MSG Secretariat recognises the impor­tant role OCO plays in delivering its mandate on customs, trade facilitation, revenue mobi­lisation and security.

Mr Yauvoli said the functions of OCO Secre­tariat also complimented and supported the MSG Secretariat Core Mandate to achieve the MSG Leader’s Vision of regional integra­tion in the MSG sub-region.

“The MOU sets the pathway for mutual partnership, collaboration and co-operation amongst the two organisations in a number of areas such as trade, customs, trade facili­tations and security,” he said.

“This is also the first ever MOU to be signed by our organisations so this is a land mark initiative which is best witnessed to the his­toric nature of this occasion.”

In addition, the OCO Head of Secretariat Mr Lagolago said the MSG customs and ad­ministration aside from Australia and New Zealand are the largest in the OCO member­ship which represented over 60 per cent of Customs Officers in Pacific Island Countries (PICs).

“Given the development of MSG members, strengthening of co-operation amongst mem­bers to implement trade facilitation meas­ures can help drive regional integration,” he said.

“Furthermore the effective implementation for the bigger administration can provide a platform for assistance to the small customs administration in the OCO region.

“This partnership is expected to promote South-South co-operation between member states of both organiations enabling the ex­change of idea, experiences, and best prac­tices to strengthen custom reforms and mod­ernisation in the OCO regions.”

Feedback: sheenam.chandra@fijisun.com.fj

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