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August 20, 2012 12:00:00 AM
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Another milestone was achieved by the Fiji Revenue Customs Authority (FRCA) today with the official opening ceremony of the World Customs Organisation (WCO) Regional Training Centre (RTC) by the Prime Minister and Minister for Finance, Commodore Josaia Voreqe Bainimarama at FRCA’s Nasese complex.

Also present at the ceremony was WCO’s Secretary General Kunio Mikuriya.

Bainimarama said the establishment of the RTC in Fiji is in line with FRCA’s strategic vision to be a leading revenue collection and border management agency and helping other Pacific Islands Countries (PICs) towards international best practice in Customs matters.

Bainimarama said that regional training centres were a key component of regional capacity building.

“The regions are best placed to identify and respond to their country’s training needs, foster standardised practices among close neighbors and trading partners, and form links among customs officials from neighbouring countries,” Bainimarama said.

“We live in a world in which trade has been revolutionised and our ability to move goods quickly and efficiently from one country to another must constantly catch up to the volume of trade.”

The Prime Minister also reiterated about the importance of having a campaign against corruption and fraud, ensuring not just the placement of modern custom laws but also diligently complying with it.

“Customs officials are at the front line of revenue collection, they are our representatives at the borders”, he said.

The Secretary General of WCO, Kunio Mikuriya said the newly opened centre RTC will improve the region’s economic growth, ensure simplified but effective customs procedures and contribute immensely towards nation building.

He said government support is important to uphold training centres of this kind in any country.

By Indrani Krishna

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