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Monday, April 29, 2013

Better integration of products and processes key

29.04.2013 - The UPU’s Postal Operations Council and Council of Administration concluded their sessions Thursday 25 April after three weeks of intense meetings at UPU headquarters in Berne, Switzerland.

Some 800 delegates attended the UPU sessions in Berne, Switzerland

Integration of international products and services and better streamlining of the supply chain were central themes during the POC, the body dealing with operational issues.
Over the next four-year cycle, the UPU will work on getting mail to move across borders more efficiently by improving customs processes and transportation.
This is important as Posts increasingly position themselves as key players in e-commerce for the physical delivery of goods to counter dwindling physical letter-post volumes.
At the same time, there was much talk about the importance of simplifying rules for letter-post, parcels and express mail at the UPU level to better meet customers’ expectations and needs.
Chris Powell, chair of the POC’s product strategy and integration group, says the organization must improve the way it works to offer a sustainable product range in the face of growing competition. “We need to change our approach,” says Powell. “We are not the only game in town, we are the biggest one by far, but we are not the only ones.”

Focus on trade and financial inclusion

Trade facilitation and financial inclusion will also take on new dimensions at the UPU after the CA created new groups to work on these issues.
The groups will help Posts strengthen their role as facilitators of cross-border exchanges and lift people out of poverty by giving them access to financial services.
Brazil will chair the trade facilitation group. The country launched a successful programme years ago to enable small and medium-sized businesses to export their goods abroad more easily and it has quickly expanded to other Latin American countries. The UPU and the Brazilian government in January renewed their commitment to work together to help member countries implement similar programmes elsewhere in the world.
For its part, the new financial inclusion group will work on policy issues and best practices and hold an annual forum to stimulate dialogue between postal operators, governments, central banks and other market players.
“We will have to raise awareness among all stakeholders, especially governments and central banks, to the idea of selling basic financial products through the postal network to improve citizens’ lives,” said Amin Benjelloun Touimi, director general of the Moroccan Post, who chairs the new financial inclusion group.
One billion people are banked through the postal network, but it remains underused in terms of financial inclusion, according to a recent UPU report.
The next POC and CA session will take place from 28 October to 15 November 2013.

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