50 ministers scheduled to attend Universal Postal Union ministerial conference in Doha
- Qatar: Sunday, September 09 - 2012 at 14:32
- PRESS RELEASE
Weeks from the opening of a major ministerial conference organized by the Universal Postal Union on 8th October 2012 in Doha, the UN specialized agency's director general, Edouard Dayan, says it is important for governments to share their vision of the postal sector with a view to maintaining its role as a key motor of socioeconomic development and social cohesion.
Exploring the future role of postal services will be a predominant theme of the ministerial conference, being held during the 25th Universal Postal Congress. About 50 ministers, heads of international and UN organizations and postal CEO have confirmed their participation as speakers. His Excellency Dr. Hamad bin Abdulaziz Al Kuwari, Qatar's Minister of Culture, Arts and Heritage, will open the conference.
Corrado Passera, Italy's minister of economic development, infrastructure and transport and a former CEO of Poste Italiane, Cezar Alvarez, Brazil's deputy minister of communication, Tatsuo Kawabata, Japan's minister for internal affairs and communication, Nikolay A. Nikiforov, Russia's minister of telecom and mass communications, and Ma Junsheng, director general of China's State Post Bureau, join the line-up of high-level governmental officials who will take part in the conference.
Patrick Donahoe, chief executive officer of the world's largest postal operator, the United States Postal Service, will also provide insight into the postal service in 2020. Her Royal Highness the Princess Máxima of the Netherlands, the United Nations special advocate for inclusive finance for development, will deliver remarks via video link for a discussion on the postal sector's role in fostering economic and social inclusion.
"Letter-post volumes are still an important revenue source, but they are declining. Posts must be innovative and diversify the business, and governments must give them the tools to do so," says Dayan. "Several countries, including developing ones, are showing that a postal network that is adapted can be a formidable tool for developing trade, financial inclusion, social cohesion and solidarity," he adds.
In Brazil, for example, small and medium-size businesses can more easily export goods through the Post thanks to a programme called Exporta Fácil. This programme has taken root in several other South American countries. In Japan, the Post was a vital communication link for victims after the March 2011 earthquake and part of aid distribution efforts.
In addition to exploring the impact of the technological revolution and its opportunities for the postal sector, the ministerial conference will look at the postal sector's role in facilitating global trade, especially as e-commerce develops at warp-speed. According to a report by Interactive Media in Retail Group, total business-to-consumer e-commerce sales - estimated at EUR690bn in 2011, are expected to pass the trillion-euro mark in 2013.
The conference will also explore the postal sector's role in social and economic inclusion. Many Posts are increasingly moving into postal financial services as part of their diversification strategy. According to the latest UPU statistics, postal financial services account for more than 17% of overall postal revenues, almost 4% more than a decade ago. Some one billion people hold savings accounts in postal financial institutions.
More than 1,900 people have already registered for the 25th Universal Postal Congress taking place from 24 September to 15 October 2012 at the Qatar National Convention Centre in Doha.
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