Turkic Council organized International Workshop on Authorized Economic Operator (AEO) in partnership with the State Revenue Committee of the Republic of Kazakhstan, GIZ, USAID, ADB and WCO on 5-6 November 2018 in Astana.

International Workshop on Authorized Economic Operator (AEO) organized by the Turkic Council in partnership with the State Revenue Committee of the Republic of Kazakhstan, GIZ, USAID, ADB and WCO was successfully held on 5-6 November 2018 in Astana. 
The workshop was co-funded by the German Society on International Cooperation (GIZ), U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), Asian Development Bank (ADB) and was facilitated by experts from the WCO Secretariat, as well as from Azerbaijan, Turkey, Hungary, Republic of Korea and China to share national experiences and best practices in order to foster the capability of customs administrations to fully develop and sustain their own AEO programs.
Over 45 Customs officers, private sector representatives from Turkic Council Member States, as well as Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, Russia, representatives of GIZ, ADB, and USAID benefited from detailed and practical information on the concepts, conditions and requirements for the establishment of an AEO program, implementation experiences of the Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Turkey, Hungary, China and EU.
The welcoming address was given by Mr. Gosman Amrin, Deputy Chairman of the State Revenue Committee of the Republic of Kazakhstan. In his congratulatory remarks, Mr. Amrin expressed his appreciation for the contribution of partners in organizing the workshop on AEO, relatively a recent concept where customs administrations can learn from each other experiences and solutions to overcome the similar difficulties. He also reiterated that in order to respond to rapidly changing circumstances and to achieve tangible results in the implementation of AEO programs, close cooperation and coordination between all relevant stakeholders is essential.   
Following the address of Deputy Chairman Amrin, Deputy Secretary General of Turkic Council Dr. Omer Kocaman, in his opening speech, expressed his gratitude to the Republic of Kazakhstan State Revenue Committee for hosting this important international workshop and other co-partners like GIZ, ADB and USAID for the excellent arrangements made to ensure the success of this workshop and for the hard work of the staff. He also extended his gratitude to the WCO for their professional input.
Deputy Secretary General highlighted the Turkic Council’s efforts to get the Member States more acquainted with global best practices to facilitate trade and stressed the importance of trade facilitation for the Turkic Council Member States to further encourage trade expansion. Mr. Omer Kocaman expressed his belief that the participant countries can make use of it in order to create most favorable conditions for their AEO systems.
In his keynote address, Mr. Giovanni Capannelli, Country Director of the ADB office in Kazakhstan briefed the participants on the activities of ADB in promoting customs cooperation in Central Asia under the Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation (CAREC) Program, which aims at promoting to promote development through cooperation, leading to accelerated economic growth and poverty reduction. He underlined in this connection the importance given to the customs reforms and modernization of customs procedures in the region. 
U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) emphasized that the workshop provides a good opportunity to the Central Asian countries to learn more on global best practices, which is necessary to ensure further implementation of the AEO Program. He briefed the audience on the Transport Corridor Development Project initiated for regional cooperation, trade facilitation and capacity building activities in Central Asia.

The representative of German Society on International Cooperation (GIZ) welcomed delegates and underlined that trade facilitation is one of the priority directions of GIZ, and the organization will further support such initiatives that will contribute to cross-border trade in the region through simplification of trade regimes. 

The one and a half day workshop included five different sessions and interactive discussions with topics covering the AEO implementation process among participants and best practices on AEO, SAFE Framework of Standards, the challenges of implementing AEO and MRA, Customs` role in the supply chain security, the value proposition of Customs-Business partnership.
The participants discussed the possible means to further strengthen cooperation for better functioning of AEO system, legal impediments to AEO program adoption, and the status of mutual recognition agreements and successful case studies. 
The quality of the discussions during the Workshop also proved the strong interest of the participants in issues mostly related to experience other countries, validation and mutual recognition agreements. 
Project Directors Ozge Pan and Farrukh Jumayev took part in the Workshop and accompanied the Deputy Secretary General.