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Monday, June 22, 2015

UPU News : Latin America calls for stronger operations and e-commerce

18.06.2015 - Strengthening designated operators to make them more efficient and effective, and development of e-commerce emerged as top priorities at the regional strategy conference for Latin America in June.

Postal worker in Brazil
One of the key issues facing Latin America is the weakening of designated operators by unrestrained competition, said UPU director general Bishar A. Hussein in a speech to delegates. 

“Cross-border incursions by postal organizations on territories of others in the name of liberalization and competition has changed the postal landscape,” he said, noting that postal organizations in developing countries are losing market share to more well-resources entities. “It is time UPU member countries deal with these sensitive questions head on.” 

The gathering aimed to provide a forum for high-level discussions on the next global postal strategy. Coming on the heels of the African regional conference that took place recently in Sudan, it was the second in a series of meetings taking place in all world regions. 

These conferences are expected to shape the agenda for the next year’s UPU Congress in Istanbul, Turkey, where the roadmap for the 2017-2020 work cycle will be adopted.

Four priorities

Delegates agreed that the top-level area of focus for the coming work cycle would be strengthening overall operations in the postal network, making them more efficient and effective, and the development of e-commerce. 

Aspects of operations targeted include transport, security and the express mail service, EMS. Quality of service and the facilitation of commerce through the postal network appear to be key interests for Latin American designated operators as they approach the start of a new cycle. 

Among the secondary areas of intervention adopted by delegates was the development of financial services. In particular, providing services for those excluded from the financial system in Latin America was singled out as a priority. 

More extensive use of the International Financial System, an electronic money-transfer application developed by the UPU’s Postal Technology Centre, was also singled out at the conference. 

Development of the postal sector was another second-level area of intervention adopted. This involves legal and regulatory reform, building on efforts of the previous cycle. 

Diversification was also among the second-level priorities chosen by delegates. Activities listed by delegates suggest a focus on connectivity, including e-services, e-government, and hybrid courier services.

Regional conferences worldwide

The two-day conference took place in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, on June 10-11. In the week following the Santo Domingo gathering, a strategy conference also took place in Minsk, Belarus, for the Europe (RCC) region. Four other regional conferences are planned for 2015.

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