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By @SimonCocking. We find out more about 2017 WCO ITC  7-9 June 2017, Tbilisi, Georgia: World Customs Organization conference exploring the role of information technology at the border.

When is the WCO ITC 2017 on?

It’s from 7th to  9th June with a welcome reception on 6 June 2017

How many years has it been going?

This will be our 16th Conference

To date the WCO has organized and hosted 15 IT Conferences:
– 2002 “Information Technology and Customs – The new economic reality” Brussels;
– 2003 “Information Technology for Customs in Africa – A Catalyst for development?” Johannesburg;
– 2004 “Customs-Business Co-operation – Key to Improved Efficiency?” Kuala Lumpur;
– 2005 “IT for Customs-Bridging the gap?” Istanbul;
– 2006 “Outsourcing and off-shoring of IT – Solution for Customs?” Bangalore;
– 2007 “Old World to New; IT Facilitates Transition?” Veracruz;
– 2008 “Integrated Border Management: Is IT Essential?” Seoul;
– 2009 “Single Window: Delivering Business Advantages” Marrakesh;
– 2010 “Fusing Data to Transform Business Processes” Dublin,
– 2011 “Cloud Computing: A New Era for Customs and Trade” Seattle,
– 2012 “IT Transforms Core Business for Customs and its Stakeholders” Tallinn,
– 2013 “Effective Solutions for Coordinated Border Management” Dubai,
– 2014 “The Role of Customs in Economic Competitiveness” Brisbane,
– 2015 “IT for an Inclusive Approach in Connecting Customs and Other Stakeholders in Inter- and Intra-Regional Trade” Freeport,

2016 “Digital Customs – Accelerating Connectivity – Bridging the Divide” Dakar.

What was the inspiration to start it?

International trade is a vital driver of economic well-being and wealth. Customs administrations are a major component in trade efficiency and effectiveness because they intervene in every transaction to ensure compliance with national regulatory requirements and multilateral trading rules. Customs administrations discharge their mission of trade facilitation, revenue collection, protection of society, and supply chain security. An efficient Customs is essential to enable any country to participate fully in the global market place. Modern Information and Communication Technology provides extensive opportunities for improving border management. The IT Conference brings the public and private sector working closely together in accomplishing a common goal of improving efficiency in cross-border movement of goods and travellers.

Each year we target a different WCO region to hold the conference. Member countries bid to host the conference based on logistics etc. This regional distribution of locations provides an environment that is conducive to the free and open dialogue on IT issues; a win-win for both government and private sector!

What exciting things can people look forward to for the 2017 version?

2017 Conference Objectives
– Explore implications of the digital world on Customs and other Government agencies in the future.

– Showcase private sector and Governments’ most recent technological developments that will provide new capabilities and opportunities and impact how Customs facilitates trade and performs its regulatory tasks.

– Monitor emerging trends, including IT solutions for exchange of information between Customs and between Customs and other agencies.

– Seek potential areas of synergy amongst relevant stakeholders at national, regional and international level.

2017 Conference theme: The Power of Data, Advancing Border Management
Key topics: e-commerce, big data, data mining, predictive analytics, blockchains, integrated supply chain management, data governance, single window etc.

What opportunities are on offer for people / startups / investors and companies attending?

The Exhibition
– Held alongside the conference, the exhibition offers unique networking and marketing opportunities for participants and vendors alike.

– Acquire first-hand information from suppliers and users on trends, technologies and solutions.

– Benefit from an environment providing great promotional and networking opportunities.

– See the latest IT solutions that have been designed specifically for the international Customs and trade market.

Delegates
– Acquire in-depth knowledge about Data Optimization opportunities

– Explore “core business” and the many complex questions surrounding how IT solutions can advance the work of Customs and other stakeholders in border regulation.

– Identify opportunities and challenges for the management of IT in Customs and other

Government Agencies.
– Gain insight into current and future IT developments in the Customs, other border agencies and business world.

– Participate in challenging debates designed to find the right IT solutions for Customs, business, and other border regulatory agencies in the 21st century.

Vendors
– Meet top level executives, entrepreneurs, researchers, and delegates from Customs, other arms of government, the IT industry and the world of international trade, transport and logistics.

– Market your projects, products and services directly to decision makers.

– Maximize your exposure and visibility with the Customs and IT community.

– Expand your contact database for future networking and business possibilities.

– Gather inside knowledge on current and future IT user requirements.

What tips would you give to people attending to get the most out of it?

Perfect platform for networking

How can people book tickets / when does it usually sell out?

Registration is open, up and throughout the conference –Travel is organised by the delegates themselves – Delegates are welcome to bring their spouses/partners who will be invited to attend the evening social networking and gala dinner offered by the host (dress smart casual)


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