2014 WCO IT Conference and Exhibition
Setting the scene

The 2014 WCO IT Conference will take place in Brisbane, one of Australia's fastest growing cities, with information and communication technology being one of its dynamic sectors.  Brisbane, the capital of Australia's 'Sunshine State' Queensland, is a green city with a wonderful climate. Brisbane is centered along the Brisbane River, and its eastern suburbs line the shores of Moreton Bay.

Positioned as a 'new world city', Brisbane offers visitors 'big city' experiences in a warm and friendly environment.  Its rapidly growing global reputation as a city of opportunity was affirmed by its selection as the host of the 2014 G20 Leaders Summit.  

The WCO is fortunate to be working with the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service (ACBPS) in organizing the WCO IT Conference 2014, the 13th annual event of its kind.  The delegates will enjoy the hospitality and friendliness of the conference hosts in the dynamic and inviting city of Brisbane.

The Role of Customs in Economic Competitiveness

Customs can improve economic competitiveness in a number of ways, one of which is by implementing trade facilitation measures for legitimate and compliant traders. Innovative cross-cutting solutions for expeditious and effective completion of border formalities can propel economic growth. 

The recently concluded WTO Agreement on Trade Facilitation (ATF) will contribute to economic growth and recovery, improved revenue collection and the alleviation of poverty. As the key implementing agency, Customs can ensure successful implementation of the ATF by applying effective IT schemes. 

WCO Members are increasing the efficiency of border management by introducing Customs-Business Partnership Programmes, Coordinated Border Management and Single Window solutions, pre-arrival and pre-departure information requirements, effective transit systems, simplified procedures for authorized traders and the use of non-intrusive inspection equipment. These measures lead to swifter movements of goods and reduced costs of trading, enabling a more attractive climate for foreign investments. 

At the same time, Customs need to apply effective controls. To meet these goals, the challenge of ensuring quality data is increasingly being addressed. Customs and other border agencies can also contribute to facilitation of legitimate movements of people across borders, while identifying illegal movements. In countries where tourism is one of the key sectors, this is of major relevance. 

Tourism has in the last years experienced continued growth and has become one of the fastest growing economic sectors in the world. Today, information technologies play a pertinent role in Customs procedures. With the sustained growth of international trade, including e-commerce and travel, Customs is seeking software solutions which can best meet their requirements and achieve maximum efficiencies. 

Furthermore, governments seek factual results of these improvements and are increasingly introducing performance measurement software solutions. The 2014 WCO IT Conference and Exhibition will provide an opportunity to discuss the ways in which Customs, in partnership with other border agencies and businesses, can impact the economic competitiveness of countries by exploiting effective IT solutions. The delegates will learn about Customs transit systems, Single Window best practices, port community systems and other IT-based responses to the increasing needs of governments in improving its capacity to process the growing volume of goods, conveyances and people.