Building the future on the past

The world is changing. We need to change with it. The only thing that is sure is that everything will change. It was never better before. It will always be better in the future. Today we know how to do reform and modernization, we know what works and what doesn’t. The world of Customs and Trade – the exiting environment of movement of people and goods – is a perfect example of change. Last year more than 4 billion people went by airplane somewhere in the world. Amazing numbers. It will be more this year. Global trade has continued to grow even during the years of global financial crises. Slower than expected, but still. It will continue to grow. We see huge movement of people – refugees and others – that aim to find a better and safer life somewhere else. We have only seen the start of this trend. It will continue and it will grow over the years to come. We also know that there is a direct linkage between trade development and social development of our societies. So how do we build a better future? The answer we continue to develop through do capacity building. Capacity building in not technical assistance, training, education, technology developments. Not alone. These are all components, but capacity building is more than that. It is about building sustainable capacity to manage change over time. We know how to successfully design, develop and implement new models, methods and systems. It is all about people. We need to build our future on the past. All that is good and works should be maintained and further developed – and we should not continue to re-invent the wheel over and over again – but we must also invent and develop new models to face the challenges of the future, a future that we know changes faster and faster. Some people fear change. I love and embrace it. It is the only thing that keeps us alive. The people of this planet deserves a better future – let’s give it to them.

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