Home » Customs & Trade, Ports/Terminals, Press Releases » Stronger links between ASEAN and Russian customs agencies urged

Philippine Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III has called for closer cooperation between the Russian Federation and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in the field of customs administration to further strengthen economic ties between the two regions.

During a recent meeting with Russian Ambassador to the Philippines Igor Khovaev, Dominguez suggested that the head of the Federal Customs Service of the Russian Federation make a tour of the countries comprising the ASEAN as a way to begin the process of establishing stronger customs ties with economies in the Asia-Pacific region.

The ASEAN is comprised of the Philippines, Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Myanmar, Cambodia, Lao PDR, and Vietnam.

Russia and the Philippines have an existing customs mutual administrative assistance agreement. Signed in 2013, the accord aims to promote cooperation between the customs agencies of the two countries in a bid to help fight transnational crimes and commercial fraud, and prevent customs offenses.

Customs Commissioner Isidro Lapeña visited Moscow in October last year to discuss with Russian officials measures to further strengthen cooperation in customs administration.

Dominguez, in turn, invited the head of Russia’s Federal Customs Service to visit the Philippines during his meeting with Khovaev.

“He (the head of the Russian Federal Customs Service) can make a tour of ASEAN, and maybe if there’s an ASEAN meeting of customs officials, we can invite him as a special guest,” Dominguez said during the meeting.

Khovaev, in turn, welcomed Dominguez’s suggestion to boost Russia’s ties with countries in the Asia-Pacific region as he underscored Russia’s “interest in building a solid partnership” with the Philippines.

The Philippines and Russia forged several agreements following the visit of President Rodrigo Duterte to Moscow in May last year.

These include the agreement on defense cooperation, tourism joint action program 2017-2019, memorandum of understanding on cooperation in industry development, memorandum of understanding on agriculture cooperation, agreement on exchange of intelligence information, and agreement on cooperation on transportation.

Dominguez last year directed BOC officials to set up data exchange arrangements with South Korea, Japan, and the United States, similar to the one the country forged with China earlier, to ensure the seamless exchange of trade-related information with these major trading partners.

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