Keynote speech of the Deputy Director General Pascal Clivaz at the opening of the World Leaders ForumDear Colleagues,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I am very pleased to open the World Leaders Forum 2021, which brings together postal sectors to deliver deep insights into the challenges and opportunities for the post globally.
The theme of this year’s forum is: “One Ocean – Many Currents: Facilitating Sustainable Global trade.” In the morning, we will hear the views of postal leaders from around the world, followed by a discussion on sustainability and the biggest issue of our time: Climate change.
Today’s session is a highly topical one and arrives ahead of the UN Climate Change Conference – also known as COP 26 – in Glasgow, United Kingdom. Afterwards, Industry experts and thought leaders will reflect on the journey ahead for the postal industry and there is a final session reflecting on the lessons of the day.
There is much for us to discuss. The year has been as momentous as the previous year with the pandemic disrupting trade and economies. Posts were not daunted; throughout this period they have continued to prove themselves,
From the delivery of personal protective equipment and essential medicines, money transfers and payment of social benefits to online shopping and advanced e-commerce channels. Posts have shown during these difficult times, they can embrace rapid transformation and change.
Ninety-one per cent of Posts worldwide provide financial services, directly or in partnership. This is likely to increase. Ecommerce is booming. E-retail revenues are likely to grow to 4.88 trillion USD in 2021.
I expect these figures to grow as more and more consumers order goods online.
Delivery innovation, such as the use of parcel lockers and electronic signature capture, also provides new options. Posts are moving towards postal e-services and a brave, new digital culture.
To help in this environment, UPU has worked closely with partners such as IATA and ICAO to keep the mail moving. Countries have been helped to re-route their mail.
Examples include support for a mail train from China to Europe; new trucking routes, the use of cargo planes for mail and new shipping routes around the world. Throughout this period, our respected EmIS system has helped postal operators stay informed of all changes and challenges.
The UPU is also accelerating projects to connect countries with the UPU’s digital networks through the Customs Declaration System, International Postal System and other IT tools.
But the UPU also plays a significant role in promoting trade. We advocate reduced trade barriers and the general globalization of business and driving the increased demand for international postal products.
The UPU has observer status with the World Trade Organization and collaborates with the WCO, UNCTAD and other related trade organizations to explore policy issues for trade in goods.
Our work on trade facilitation also involves many areas of the postal network & supply chain – physical services, financial services, electronic services, customs, airlines, & security.
The international postal sector can play an immense role in facilitating trade and through the expanding e-commerce sector.
Our aim is to develop the projects and technical assistance tools designed to prepare Posts for e-commerce in the areas of operations, digital transformation and payment methods.
To achieve this, Posts must be creative, adaptive, and innovative. Above all else, they have to be competitive and willing to change their business strategies.
Operators must also be prepared to offer the best delivery and logistical services for e-marketplaces. To do this, Posts must leverage their competitive advantages such as the fact they are trusted by consumers.
Dear Colleagues and Participants,
The title of this event is “One Ocean—Many Currents,” the goal of the international postal sector in these years of Covid and chaos has been to set a joint course and to avoid being swept away by the strength of these global currents.
Although it is not true for everyone, Posts have seized many opportunities and have actually prospered in these rough global seas.
There has been no drift.
In 2021, the perception of the Posts by the public and governments alike is not the same as it was before the pandemic.
I believe we can continue to reinvent ourselves in this new environment. That we can show ourselves to be innovative in this world of the “new normal” and “build back better.”
I should add that forums such as this one can be the catalyst for driving these essential messages to governments and across the sector.
We have been given a fresh opportunity to revitalize and renew our essential services and the way we are perceived.
If we work wisely, this can be a stepping-stone to a better future for our sector.
In the spirit of partnership and cooperation, let us seize this moment.