POST-EXPO 2017, Geneva

Welcoming speech by UPU Director General Bishar A. Hussein, Geneva, Switzerland, 26 September 2017

Ladies & gentlemen, 

Welcome to the 2017 edition of the World Postal Business Forum, organized as part of Post-Expo in Geneva, Switzerland.

It is with great pleasure that I open this event after the success of last year’s edition in Hong Kong, when hundreds of high-level experts from the postal sector met in order to reflect on trends affecting the industry and see the latest equipment available out there. 

I dare to say that this year’s edition promises to be even more exciting than last year’s. We have prepared a two-day programme that is entirely devoted to technology.

Why? Because technological transformations are causing profound transformations in the postal sector, generating both risks and opportunities.

As the internet becomes ever more pervasive in all regions of the world, especially among the young, it acts as a double-edged sword: accelerating mail substitution on the one hand and boosting e-commerce on the other.

Moreover, after years of sluggish growth, the recovery of the world economy can give additional impetus to long-term trends in the postal sector, opening space for millions of micro, small and medium-size enterprises to sell globally for the first time.

But how exactly can technology help unleash the forces of e-commerce and economic growth? Well, at the UPU, we believe that this can be done by using technology to address deficiencies in global supply chains.

Indeed, as an intergovernmental organization of the UN System, the UPU is very much concerned with the linkages between national physical and digital infrastructures. We strive to have all the 192 national networks of our member countries to act as one; and breath-taking changes in technology allow us to do just that.

Running under the theme ‘Connecting the dots: e-commerce, technology and the postal network’, this year’s World Postal Business Forum at Post-Expo will thus be charting the road to a seamless global supply chain from the perspective of e-commerce and the postal sector. Through six sessions in two days, participants will be taken through a complete end-to-end logistics journey, highlighting the pitfalls to overcome and devising solutions that would enable the promised value of e-commerce to materialise.

Through the sessions, panellists will reflect on ways to simplify trade complexities through the use of technology in each step of the e-commerce value chain, including reverse logistics. Solutions to various challenges that are being faced in view of changing e-commerce demands will also be discussed, including in areas such as payment solutions and enabling regulations. Panellists will also explore the role of key platforms such as cloud and mobile services in transforming the e-commerce dynamics of the post.

We want to continuously improve this event, so we will be circulating a survey at the end of the Forum to collect your feedback.

We also invite you to visit our stand number 6095. It will be an opportunity for you to learn more about what we do at the UPU as well as about the affordable and inclusive solutions that we have to promote the interoperability of network infrastructure. 

Last but not least, let me thank UKi Media & Events for their collaboration in the organization of this Forum.

Welcome again to all of you. I hope you will enjoy this event.