Unshaken by current restrictions on the ability to hold in-person meetings, CAI determinedly kicked off with a bang on 30 June 2020, with a special interactive virtual session featuring special guest speaker Mr John Mein, chair of the Private Sector Consultative Group (PSCG) of the World Customs Organization (WCO). With the participation of more than 90 FIATA members around the world, this meeting provided a unique opportunity to shape the work of CAI going forward into the new era of economic recovery. In particular, it enabled the active exchange of views on essential trade-facilitation measures, taking into account lessons learnt from the COVID-19 crisis and considering developments in the respective national contexts.
The PSCG, in which CAI also participates, has been exemplary in demonstrating the power of private sector engagement at the international level. This has been no less true in its response to COVID-19. In his presentation, Mr Mein took the group through some of the concrete action and tangible outcomes taken by the PSCG, which has continued to advocate coordinated global approaches to trade facilitation as well as to provide strategic input into the WCO’s workstreams. This work will continue to become ever more crucial if the world is to emerge with resilience from the global crisis, and the interactive nature of the session enabled FIATA members to provide their input on what they are seeing around the world. CAI also had the opportunity to present some current and future priorities, including e-commerce, the revised Kyoto Convention and countering COVID-19, all of which are set to impact global customs procedures and processes in the supply chain.
Evidently, CAI has much work on its agenda and there is no better time for it to relaunch its meetings online starting with its next sessions for CAI delegates on 14 and 28 July, in line with the PSCG’s schedule. Global collaboration on trade facilitation is ever more crucial in these challenging times, and CAI is looking forward to welcoming delegates of national associations worldwide to tackle these key topics together.