After losing a projected $4.6 Billion USD in annual customs revenue, Philippines President, Benigno Aquino III, recognized the need to squash the corruption within his Bureau of Customs and assess the nation’s customs revenue gap. He appointed a former Goldman Sachs trader in Hong Kong, John Sevilla, as the Commissioner to do the job. Since that time, the Bureau’s revenue from import duties has risen 20% from a year ago. Aided by government corruption, duty evasion through undervaluing imports, filing false manifests, and smuggling has run rampant for years amongst the Philippines importing community.
Relatively basic analytics on trade data that had not been previously performed uncovered the root of the losses. Clamping down on those subverting import laws and working with trading partners in the Asian-Pacific region noticeably increased revenues. These types of best practices can be implemented with proper guidance and should serve as a model for developing nations seeking to bolster their economies.
Business Week with the full article.