WILLEMSTAD - At the invitation of Ms. Soraya Pols-Strick, Curaçao Acting Head of Customs, WCO Secretary General Kunio Mikuriya visited Curaçao on 10 and 11 February 2020 to review the challenges of Small Island Economies in the Caribbean region.
Dr. Mikuriya had a meeting with Mr. Kenneth Gijsbertha, Minister of Finance and with Ms. Giselle McWilliam, Minister of Economic Development, to discuss the future direction of Curaçao, including the accession to the WTO and enhanced regional integration, and how Customs can contribute to the policy objectives, in addition to the traditional mission of revenue collection. He also had a meeting with Mr. Eugene Rhuggenaath, Prime Minister, who appreciated the WCO vision to ensure connectivity at borders while protecting society from illicit trade including counterfeit. They agreed on strengthening cooperation with the Prime Minister’s strong support for Customs modernization.
Secretary General Mikuriya had a wide-ranging discussion with the Customs management team on the way forward for Customs reform and cooperation with WCO. He also observed airport and maritime Customs operations and had a meeting with free zone operators.
Dr. Mikuriya expressed gratitude for the opportunity to reflect on the WCO’s initiative on Small Island Economies and Curaçao’s willingness for Customs modernization, with the support from political leaders, Customs management team and business community.