Monday 29 April 2019

UPU Director General calls for transformation and innovation in future postal strategy

29.04.2019 - The UPU Regional Strategy Forum for Asia-Pacific was held in Bangkok, Thailand, leading to recommendations on transforming the postal landscape to respond to changing market realities.

At the same time, governments were urged to increase investment in their national postal organization to enable them contribute effectively in their respective countries economic development.
In his opening speech of the forum, the Director General of the Universal Postal Union (UPU) Bishar A. Hussein acknowledged that the postal sector was faced with unprecedented need for change in order to cope with dynamics of digital transformation worldwide.
He said, to mitigate the numerous risk and take advantages of opportunities of the current and future business needs, it was important for the UPU and the global postal sector to have a robust vision and strategy.   
“The UPU’s strategy for the 2021-2024 cycle, ‘the Abidjan Postal Strategy,’ will be approved by the Abidjan Congress next year. In order to develop this roadmap, considerable effort is being made by member countries with the support of the International Bureau to align the strategy with the contemporary trends in the postal sector,” he told the high profile audience. 
Mr Hussein stressed that, if the strategy was to fulfill its promise and inspire the sector as a whole, there were four key action areas. First, governments needed to bridge the gaps in postal development through increased investments, focused policies and leverage of the postal network for socio-economic development.   
Second, said Mr Hussein, postal regulators needed to harmonize the sector’s regulatory framework and promote innovation, diversification and investment in the postal sector. Third, he called on postal operators to implement new diversified strategies and to entertain operational improvements.
Finally, Mr Hussein invited the private sector and private institutions to integrate with the sector and engage with traditional stakeholders. The UPU Director General said, “We now have many players doing what was in the past considered an exclusive postal business. We need to be more innovative to compete in this field.”
As part of these industry-wide developments, he said the UPU would align its activities to enable the sector’s stakeholders to achieve the goals set in the new strategy. He said the vision called Postal Vision 2030 has been developed to form the basis for the UPU’s strategy from 2021-2024.
Touching upon the debate about remuneration rates, Mr Hussein noted it had revealed a glaring need for the sector to make faster decisions, adding that the discussion on the subject signified symptoms of a far greater problem that the Union needed to address. 
Towards the end of his remarks, the Director General reiterated the need for governments to take their role seriously in addressing the multilateral aspects of the UPU, and to assist in its sequencing with modern businesses. Mr Hussein affirmed that this repositioning was essential for sustaining the global postal network that the UPU had maintained for 145 years.
“UPU is still very relevant to the postal sector, but we need to reform it further and make it more flexible to address other emerging business matters. Most important, we must ensure postal services continue to play key developmental roles in our respective countries,” he said.
The UPU Regional Strategy Forum for Asia-Pacific is the first of a series of six regional forums organized in 2019 as part of the development of the UPU’s strategy for the next four-year cycle. During the two-day conference, participants discussed regional perspectives on the international postal sector, including the roles of governments and regulators.
Attended by Mr Pansak Siriruchtapong, Vice Minister for the Ministry of Digital Economy and Society of Thailand, Mr Hongliang Lin, Secretary General of Asian-Pacific Postal Union, the event brought together representatives of the Asia-Pacific postal sector, as well as many other stakeholders to discuss the UPU’s roadmap for the future.

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