RTU and the Ambassador of Latvia participate in the online event of the Azerbaijan Customs Academy

On May 8, within the framework of the online event organized by the Azerbaijan Customs Academy (ACA) and Latvian Embassy in Azerbaijan, H.E. Ambassador of Latvia to Azerbaijan Dainis Garančs delivered a lecture “Customs and Border Management at the Current Pandemic Times: Main Challenges and Opportunities”.

The online event was attended by Riga Technical University (RTU) representatives – Professor Aivars Vilnis Krastiņš, Director of the International Business and Customs Institute (IBCI) and Mr. Igors Tipāns, Deputy Rector and Director of International Cooperation and Foreign Students Department, as well as Mrs. Ingrīda Gulbe Otaņķe, Acting Deputy Director General on Customs Issues of the State Revenue Service and Mr. Vladimirs Zaguzovs, representative of International Cooperation Department of State Border Guard of Latvia.

At the opening of the online event, I. Tipāns expressed his pleasure for RTU and ACA having recently signed international cooperation agreement, which envisages an active participation of both parties in promoting cooperation in customs and border management by implementing student and faculty exchange and joint projects. Representatives of RTU expressed the hope that the Covid-19 pandemic would end soon by allowing both parties to proceed with a practical implementation of the newly established cooperation.

ACA Rector Dr. Gulu Novruzov emphasized that during Covid-19, activities of this type and format provide an opportunity not only for exchange of information on customs process management during the crisis, but also encourage to create a stronger bond between RTU and ACA.

During his lecture, Ambassador Dainis Garančs illustrated the current situation in connection with the crisis caused by the pandemic in Latvia and Europe by emphasizing Latvia’s experience in solving these issues and providing in-depth insight into the ongoing processes in the European Union (EU). The Ambassador also spoke about customs and border management processes in the context of the EU’s internal and external borders, including up-to-date information on freight flows, transit and challenges in the tourism sector.

After the lecture attended by 60 people, the “Questions & answers” session took place, in which ACA students asked questions about customs and border management processes and directions of possible academic activities that might be jointly implemented by both higher education institutions. The students were particularly interested about the Latvian side’s experience in the implementation of the EU-funded project “Border Management Programme in Central Asia – BOMCA”. Its main objectives are to improve overall security in Central Asia, support trade and transit facilitation between the five Central Asian states, control migratory flows, and to strengthen cooperation, in order to reduce the illegal movement of goods and persons. The project will end this year, and it is being implemented by IBCI on the part of RTU.