The 18th Meeting of the ASEAN Coordinating Committee on Customs (CCC) opened in the northern Philippine province of Pampanga on May 7, drawing customs officials from ASEAN member countries and representatives from Japan, China and the Republic of Korea.

Speaking at the event, Philippine Customs Commissioner Ruffy Biazon underscored the role of ASEAN countries’ customs agencies in establishing a One-ASEAN, One Customs environment for its 10 member economies.

He said that in the evolving global economic trend, customs procedures among ASEAN member economies are being streamlined, trade barriers are being dismantled to facilitate trade activities while customs laws and rules and capacity building programmes are being enhanced.

Globalisation is a reality ASEAN has to face and trade facilitation is at the forefront of this region’s economic endeavor, he said, adding that the meeting of customs chiefs should, therefore, help pave the way for the establishment of an integrated customs agency among the ASEAN countries.-VNA