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We're very much committed to border security because we believe that as a Government we must ensure that all our borders are secured, says Fiji'S Attorney-General and Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum.
“The borders must not only be secure but we must ensure they adhere to international practices and international law because it is only through the adherence of a co-operative, regional and international approach will we be able to ensure the survival of our individual economies,” he said.
The A-G said through these the border security agency would also be able to minimise illegal cross-border transactions.
Sayed-Khaiyum was giving the keynote address during the welcome ceremony of the 18th World Customs Organisation Asia/Pacific Regional Heads of Administrations Conference in Suva.
He said his ministry yesterday hosted a delegation from Nepal who were here to look at Fiji's anti-money laundering practices and how Fiji was adhering to international laws and implementing those laws.
“It is through this collaborative approach, we believe, that we can not only learn from each other, but be able to impart some knowledge that we may have specific to our jurisdictions that others can learn from,” Sayed-Khaiyum said.
He said the nature of cross-border transactions had changed now, in particular the change in technology, and so was the use of technology by those who carried out cross-border transactions both legal and illegal.
“I think it is very critical that all our organisations, all of our countries all of our staff are equipped with these new knowledge; are equipped with new technology to ensure that we're able to minimise those risks but also at the same time enhance international trade.”
“Because these approaches are not only about curbing criminal activities, but it's also about enhancing investment and trade,” he said.
He said the globalised world demanded us to be able to trade with each other.
“It is in recognition that some of our countries have different skill sets, different areas of specialisation and in order for us to be able to have access to those goods and services, we must have a seamless flow of goods across our borders.
“Because if we become an impediment to that flow of trade and investment, that is to our own detriment; the detriment of globalised international trade and investment.”
Sayed-Khaiyum also welcomed WCO secretary-general Kunio Mikuriya and all the delegates.
“On behalf of the Fijian Government, you have our commitment to ensure that the WCO mandate, objectives and indeed the vision will be implemented by the Fijian Government.”
WCO Asia/Pacific vice-chairperson and CEO of Fiji Revenue and Customs Authority Visvanath Das, also welcomed the delegation. "The 24 countries represented here today at this conference is a sign of our individual country's commitment to working together to make our region better and subsequently connected better to the global challenges and directions to the World Customs Organisations."
He also thanked the regional customs administrations for supporting Fiji as the Asia/Pacific vice-chair of WCO.
SOURCE: FIJI TIMES/PACNEWS
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