Uganda’s tax body, the Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) officials are upbeat about the upcoming Authorised Economic Operators (AEOs) conference set to be held next month.
While addressing the 4th WCO AEO Press Launch on Tuesday, the Acting Commissioner General, Patrick Mukiibi said the conference offers Uganda and Africa an opportunity to tap into global trade.
“The 4th WCO Global AEO Conference is the ultimate get together of players in International Trade Facilitation. For the first time , the conference is coming to Africa,” he said at URA’s head office in Nakawa in the capital, Kampala.
Mukiibi added, “What the 4th WCO Global AEO Conference offers Uganda and Africa is an opportunity to learn about what is happening in the arena of global trade facilitation in over 60 countries first hand.”
Uganda will host the 4th World Customs Organization (WCO) AEO conference at Kampala Serena Hotel from the 14th – 16th March 2018, under the theme “Promoting Mutual Recognition of AEOs to Strengthen & Secure Global Trade”
The AEO program is a trade facilitation program which aids trade facilitation and promotes security of the international trade supply chain.
It is derived from the World Customs Organization frame work of standards called the ‘SAFE’, an acronym which stands for Security and Facilitation in a global Environment.
Speaking at the same eventm, URA’s Customs boss, Dicksons Kateshumba praised the role of AEOs in contributing to revenue.
“Uganda is a member of the World Customs Organization. The Authorized Economic Operator program is implemented by WCO member countries. Uganda is one of the member countries in Africa that are exemplarily implementing the program. For Uganda to host the 4th WCO Global AEO Conference, she fended off competition from Cities like Dubai.This is therefore an opportunity for Uganda to showcase her beauty and trade opportunities,” he said.
Kateshumba added, “Currently, the companies on the National AEO program contribute 19% of total customs revenue. These companies have registered significant reduction in the cost of doing business to a tune of 540,000 USD annually.”
On his part, Uganda Tourism Board (UTB) boss, Stephen Asiimwe, commended URA for winning the bid to host next month’s event.
“It is commendable for Uganda to host this conference. As Uganda Tourism Board, we are excited and want participants to enjoy the country before and during the conference because Uganda is the only country where life continues during both day and night. The tourism industry in Uganda is definitely going to benefit a lot from this conference,” Asiimwe revealed.
Members of the World Customs Organisation came up with the idea of the AEO conferences after the 911 tragedy in 2001.