Officials of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and private sector representatives from Southeast Asia met September 18, 2012, in Jakarta at a symposium cohosted by ASEAN and the ASEAN Single Window project that Nathan Associates manages for USAID and the State Department.
Back row from left: Ponnathar Gurudutt, Greg Leon, Rachid Benjelloun, Nina Laraswati.
Front row from left: Salvador Buban, Kissinger Reyes, Simplicio Domingo II, Dennis Pantastico, Sally Alvareda
ASEAN Single Window is the cornerstone of ASEAN’s plan to create the ASEAN Economic Community by 2015, and ASEAN member states are working to create national single windows by the end of 2012 to link to the regional single window. The ASEAN Single Window is expected to improve traders’ compliance with customs and trade regulations, create a legal framework enabling electronic transactions, expedite cargo clearance, make traders’ supply chain management more efficient, and reduce the cost of doing business.
At the symposium, the U.S. deputy representative to ASEAN spoke during the opening ceremony, and speakers from Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand talked about the status of their national single windows. The chair of the ASEAN Single Window Steering Committee briefed the audience about the ASEAN Single Window pilot project, and the deputy secretary-general for the ASEAN Economic Community spoke about the importance for the initiative’s success of raising public awareness of the ASEAN Single Window through events such as the symposium. On the private sector side, the director of regional logistics and global supply chain for Levi Strauss Asia Pacific Division Ltd voiced his company’s support for the ASEAN Single Window because the company expects the single window to facilitate trade, bring about cost savings, and improve transparency in customs processing.
Four member states demonstrated their single window services, and the ASEAN Single Window project displayed an animation of the single window process and how the cross-border exchange of data among government agencies, traders, transporters, and ports will look.
After brainstorming sessions, the symposium ended with action plans for continuing single window development, which ASEAN working groups and committees will consider for implementation.