At the 2023 Global Conference on Cooperation in Enforcement Matters (GCCEM), Union Minister of Finance and Corporate Affairs, Nirmala Sitharaman, delivered a keynote address emphasizing the need for significant advancements in customs enforcement. She highlighted the crucial distinction between facilitation and prevention in customs enforcement efforts.
In terms of facilitation, Sitharaman stressed the importance of improving trade ease and optimizing the movement of goods in international trade. She acknowledged the collaborative efforts between businesses and governments in promoting a more efficient trade environment. Sitharaman affirmed that while progress is being made, continuous efforts are required to enhance the efficiency of international trade.
In the context of prevention and deterrence, Sitharaman emphasized the ongoing efforts needed to elevate operational standards. She underscored the significance of preventing illegal trade, smuggling, and activities that challenge a nation’s sovereignty. Sitharaman elaborated on the concept of deterrence, emphasizing its role in reinforcing customs enforcement through vigilance and unwavering commitment. She highlighted the importance of permanently destroying confiscated goods to prevent their re-entry into the market, even if they appear legitimate.
Sitharaman also emphasized that the GCCEM should serve as a platform for generating innovative ideas, particularly in the realm of prevention and deterrence. She stressed the importance of sharing knowledge and experiences to effectively combat illegal trade. The conference, she noted, aims to facilitate productive discussions on various enforcement matters, fostering international cooperation and the exchange of best practices in customs enforcement. Ultimately, this global initiative benefits individual nations and the international trade community as a whole.