Dodwell in 2013 SOM2 Surabaya - Post 10

April 17, 2013

Since ABAC is not a “Friend of the Chair” in terms of APEC’s “Friends of the Chair” (FotC) discussions, the pivotal day (last Friday) devoted to an FotC examination of how APEC officials should manage their supply chain connectivity agenda, and in particular ABAC’s call for adoption of a regional approach to adoption of GlobalData Standards (GDS), had us trying to peek through the keyhole from outside the door.

Happily, there was a comprehensive report-back in CTI by APEC Hong Kong China, which is chairing the “Supply Chain Connectivity” issue. Even more happily, the discussion appears to have moved things constructively forward from the faltering start we had in SOM1 in Jakarta. This is in spite of an embarrassing short-circuit arising from the administrative accident that our ABAC proposal on GDS had been sent to our APEC officials under an ABAC New Zealand letterhead. This seemed to give them the idea that the proposal was a New Zealand proposal to ABAC, and that it would be submitted to CTI once ABAC approved it. Two times I had to clarify, painstakingly: Yes, this is an ABAC proposal, fully endorsed in the ABAC Plenary in Singapore. Yes, this was a complete accident, and the proposal should have been sent to them under a full ABAC letterhead. Mea culpa, mea culpa… Slaps on the wrist all round… But in the end officials agreed to accept that this was a proposal that had been empowered by the whole ABAC plenary. Phew.

In short, we won in principle support for our proposal for a “six pilot” plan focused on measurable improvements set against the various supply chain chokepoints. Our APEC senior officials are expecting us to come back to SOM3 with an elaborated proposal and a number of specific things:

  • They Want GS1's relationship to ABAC clarified once and for all

  • They want the World Customs Organisation, who frequently work alongside GS1 and who are naturally well trusted by our Customs Officials, to sit alongside GS1 when we present in Medan in June. It is important we facilitate this.

  • They want us to build a matrix that maps all of the GDS projects being orchestrated across our 21 economies. GS1 has promised to help on this.

  • They are keen to talk before the Medan meetings on which supply chain choke points are the key priorities

  • They also, economy by economy, want ABAC members to get together with their local officials to discuss why GDS, and GS1 as our agent, are so important.

We now need to ensure we have the “A” team presenting in Medan – and we need to ensure there is strong WCO presence. We also need to ensure that a critical mass of ABAC members is sufficiently well versed on GDS to present to their officials between now and June. Orchestrating this is going to be a challenge.

* Read post from Surabaya


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