Doha, September 24 (QNA) – Director General of Universal Postal Union (UPU) Edouard Dayan expressed Monday his thanks to HH the Deputy Emir and Heir Apparent Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani and to the State of Qatar for working to ensure the 25th Universal Postal Congress was a success.
Dayan stressed his belief during his opening remarks that the Congress, held in Qatar this year, was going to be a “memorable one.” He also praised the growing role Qatar was playing in hosting different internationally-renowned gatherings and meetings, expressing the UPU’s gratitude for Qatar’s continuing support to the Union.
He praised choosing the Sidra tree, the Symbolic tree of Qatar, saying that it was the “perfect symbol” for the Congress as well. Dayan quoted the words of HH Sheikha Moza bint Nasser “With its roots bound in the soil of this world, and its branches reaching upwards toward perfection, the Sidra tree is also a symbol of solidarity and determination”.
He called on delegates of the Congress to be inspired by the symbol and exchange ideas, knowledge and opinions in order to aid the postal sector make the progress it needs to face changes taking place across the globe.
The Director General said that the world has changed drastically since the last congress in Geneva back on 2008. It changed in terms of the economic and financial crisis has affected all countries, he added. Dayan maintained also that transformations had gone beyond economic levels to security issues and migration as well as the technological advancements. He stressed that delegates in the conference would have to come up with bold ideas to help make the progress necessary for the postal sector to adapt to the new changes taking place.
UPU Chief Denies New Media Tools Have Affected Postal Business
Director General of Universal Postal Union (UPU) rejects the notion that new age tools of communication and technology have undermined the core business of postal services globally.
“In fact it is boosting postal business since there are many new opportunities now. Traditionally, conventional mail was the core business. However, the way business is now done is changing fast,” Edouard Dayan told Qatar News Agency (QNA) in an exclusive interview.
“Have you noted how e-commerce is growing worldwide?” he asked. “It is rapidly expanding since many consumers have access to the Internet. People are ordering goods sitting at home from different corners of the world.”
Even Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) are doing their businesses through the Internet, he said, speaking on the sidelines of the 25th Universal Postal Congress that opened here Monday.
“You can order goods and services through the Internet, but can you deliver goods through the Internet?” Dayan asked. “Have you tried? It is not possible!”
The key business segment is retailing; from the seller to the consumers, he said. “This segment is probably around 70% of the market. This is where postal services come in. They have the largest network to take advantage of the e-commerce development.”
“It is critically important for the postal fraternity to adapt themselves to the new environment. They should establish reliable and secure networks and guarantee time-bound deliveries at an affordable price. They have to do this to take advantage of the opportunities that Internet offers,” said Dayan.
Except UPU no other organization can offer an infrastructure with the Internet for securing these exchanges, he claimed.
“We have already launched the process to this end. We are expecting concrete decisions from the congress to enable the organization move on this front and to extend the electronic network through the Internet for securing all kinds of transactions.”
Regarding networks for financial services, the UPU Chief said, “The Post, if not the first, has the second largest network in the world which is used by more than one billion people to access financial services.”
The amount of remittances is very important since it is very high in this region. He mentioned the GCC states’ unique position of being home to people of many nationalities, mainly South Asia.
“The expatriate community here needs to transfer money to their respective homes in a secure manner. So the country which makes the payments can develop a range of financial services and products which will boost the economy,” he said.
When told banks and money exchanges are already doing these services. Dayan said, “Banks are not present everywhere and they are very selective about their customers. Money exchanges are very expensive since they charge high remittance fees without having full security.”
The UPU has already established a network of 60 countries to offer such financial services and more are expected to join during this conference, he said.
Regarding standardization of norms globally, Dayan said, “We have standardized norms in co-operation with all major organisations like the IATA and customs of various countries. We are also integrating the supply chain network door-to-door from the seller to the customer throughout the world without considering geographical borders.” (QNA)