Monday 13 April

08:00 – 11:00 Delegate registration

11:00 – 11:30 Opening ceremony

12:00 – 14:00 Lunch

First session

Acting as one and delivering globally

As the world evolves, the postal sector also has to constantly adjust and redefine itself to meet the demands of a changing society. More than ever, postal operators must adapt quickly to new trends and consumer demands. Representatives from UPU member countries and key stakeholders of the postal market will discuss what challenges and opportunities are currently facing Posts, who their customers are today, and what business models should be envisaged to address the evolving economic landscape.

14.00 – 14:15  Setting the scene: opening remarks by UPU Director General Bishar A. Hussein

14.15 – 15:30  Panel 1: Keeping pace with the rapidly evolving economic environment

Everyone agrees that economic uncertainty can have a significant impact on individual and business behaviour, as well as on financial infrastructure. For the postal business, an economic downturn can accelerate trends, such as the decline of traditional business mail. But it can also trigger opportunities. Panellists will explore these as they survey the legacy of the economic and financial crises of recent years.

Panellists: Lin Hongliang, director, Asian-Pacific Postal Union; Dimitry Strashnov, director general, Russian Post; Stefan Krawczyk, associate general counsel and head, government relations, eBay; Moulay Hafid Elalamy, Morocco's minister of industry, trade, investment and digital economy

15:30 – 16:45  Panel 2: Innovation and the key to success

Innovation has always been a part of the fabric of public postal services, which have been around for centuries. But as the global environment changes, the need to innovate faster and better is a priority today. What must Posts do to be at the cutting edge? How can better integration be achieved between different types of postal services? Must developing countries invest in new technologies before strengthening their core services? Panelists will explore what Posts must do to be as relevant as ever in today’s competitive communication market, looking at the lessons learned from other sectors.

Panellists: Botond Szebeny, secretary general, PostEurop; Mohamed Saleh Ben Taher Benten, chairman and CEO of Saudi Post; Philippe Metzger, director general, OFCOM in Switzerland; Kalamullah Ramli, director general, ministry of communication and information technology, Indonesia; 

16:45 – 18:30  Panel 3: Meeting the e-commerce challenge: customers’ expectations and postal capabilities

Cross-border e-commerce is recognized as probably the most important sector of business development for the Post and is now one of the key strategic areas of focus for the UPU and its members. In response to the burgeoning opportunities presented by e-commerce, the UPU is helping its members to construct a truly integrated postal solution and network (referred to as ECOMPRO) to meet modern-day customer needs. With this in mind, panelists will emphasize the need for the UPU to act swiftly to meet market, consumer and operational needs. The operational efficiency and market responsiveness of postal operators will be key drivers for the sector’s success in gaining and retaining e-commerce market share.

Panellists: Wagner Pinheiro de Oliveira, president of Brazil Post; Ma Junsheng, director general of China's State Post Bureau; Deepak Chopra, president and chief executive officer of Canada Post, Philippe Wahl, president of France's Groupe La Poste; Anne Miroux, director, division on technology and logistics at the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD); Nicolas Martin, co-CEO, Jumia Africa

18:30 – 18:45  Closing remarks/wrap-up session

Tuesday 14 April – Day 2

Second session

Policy frameworks: delivering efficiency

This session will focus on identifying the regulatory responses needed to more effectively integrate the postal sector’s physical, financial and digital dimensions. Panelists will also discuss the regulatory responses needed to foster inclusive postal solutions for all, while at the same time ensuring the provision of a sustainable and efficient universal service.

09:00 – 10:15  Panel 4: Trade facilitation and the development of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) through the postal network

Facilitating the flow of goods can lower prices, increase competition and improve the variety, quality and quantity of offers for the benefit of all consumers. However, many MSMEs, often among the largest employers in any country, find it difficult to overcome barriers to customs, documentation and infrastructure because they cannot absorb the same financial risks as large corporations. As an intergovernmental UN agency, the UPU has launched a trade-facilitation programme to support member countries' export initiatives through the postal network. Panelists will identify trade facilitation issues that affect consumers and MSMEs and discuss how the postal sector can be a catalyst for economic growth, poverty reduction and employment creation.

Panellists: Xiaozhun Yi,  deputy director general, World Trade Organization (WTO); Gaozhang Zhu, director, World Customs Organization (WCO); Friberg Quispe Grajeda, director general of Peru's SERPOST; Arancha Gonzalez, executive director, International Trade Centre (ITC); Josiah Charles, Post Master General, St. Lucia, and Member, Management Board, Caribbean Postal Union

10:15 – 11:15  Panel 5: How regulation can leverage the postal sector in all its dimensions

Innovation is now one of the key issues for all industries, and Posts are not the exception. For decades, stakeholders across the postal sector have been doing their utmost to reform, develop, transform and innovate Posts and their postal services. New communication technologies and ever-changing customer needs and expectations have driven Posts to make drastic changes, from delivery to fulfilment, to improve the entire supply chain by providing new and innovative services. In this context, the role of regulators is critical in managing the evolving legal framework.

Panellists: Mohd Zaidi Abdul Karim, director, postal affairs and digital signature, Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission;
Lina Rainiene, deputy director general, Communications Regulatory Authority of Lithuania, Hon. Fred Matiangi, cabinet secretary, Kenya's ministry of information, communications and technology; Norberto Berner, head of Argentina's regulatory authority, Secretaría de Comunicaciones (SECOM); John S. Nkoma, director general, Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA), and chairman of Administrative Council, Pan African Postal Union (PAPU)

11:15 – 12:30  Panel 6: Serving member countries, businesses and citizens through the universal service

By ensuring that everyone, everywhere, has access to essential communication services, the universal postal service is a major driver of economic and social development. Regulators, governments and designated operators have a key role to play in leveraging the potential of the universal service. This panel will address the challenges and opportunities in defining and implementing the universal postal service at the domestic and international levels.

Panellists: Torstein Olsen, director general, Norwegian Post and Telecommunications Authority, Jack Hamande, chairman of the council, Belgian Institute for Postal Services and Telecommunications;Younouss Djibrine, secretary general, Pan African Postal Union (PAPU); Dr. Debretsion Gebremichael, vice-prime minister and minister of communication and information technology, Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, and chairman of the plenipotentiary conference of PAPU

12:30 – 14:00  Lunch

Third session

Delivering innovative, integrated and inclusive development solutions

This afternoon’s session will address the social and economic development challenges facing UPU member countries. It will concentrate on exploring the crucial role that governments can play in ensuring that Posts are able to deliver innovative, integrated and inclusive development solutions to satisfy the needs and expectations of their customer groups and other stakeholders. This session will discuss the value of the postal sector and will recognize its viable position in the communication market, its role as a driver of economic growth and poverty reduction, and its assets as a vehicle for social, economic and financial inclusiveness and the delivery of important social services, such as pensions and other benefits. Panelists will discuss how to attract governments' commitment to the postal sector and, crucially, how to attract investment for the sector to deliver sustainable development solutions.

14:00 – 15:30  Panel 7: Financial inclusion and postal financial services: challenges and opportunities

After banks, Posts and their major financial agencies are the world’s second biggest contributors to financial inclusion. And there is growing interest in how Posts can contribute even more. One billion people already benefit from basic transactional services through the Post, holding more than 1.5 billion postal savings or deposit accounts. In India alone, 30 million new postal savings accounts were opened in 2012. Remittances are a key gateway to the formal financial system for the unbanked. At the worldwide level, migrants' transfers through formal channels accounted for 404 billion USD in 2013. Panelists will address the challenges and opportunities that the sector faces in leveraging the potential of postal financial services, and the role Posts, with the full support of their governments and international organizations, can play in increasing financial inclusion generally.

Panellists: William Lacy Swing, director general, International Organization for Migration (IOM); Salvator Nizigiyimana, director general, Burundi Post;
Mario Garcés Sanagustin, Spain's vice-minister of public works and transport; Csaba Polacsek, deputy state secretary, States Secretariat for National Financial Services and Postal Affairs, Hungarian Prime Minister's Office; Siyabonga Cyprian Cwele, minister of telecommunications and postal services, South Africa; Jean-Paul Forceville, Member of La Banque Postale Supervisory Committee (Conseil de Surveillance) 

15:30 – 16:45  Panel 8: Transferring trust in the physical world to the digital economy

While digitization is not new, the digital economy is entering a new age that features unprecedented challenges for postal leaders. Digital tools are flooding the business environment, provoking significant changes in how people work, communicate and sell. This has given rise to new opportunities and challenges and pushed companies around the world to undergo a digital transformation. Postal stakeholders should not be left behind. Panelists will talk about what governments and Posts can do to shift the trust normally associated with physical products and services into the digital world and make that trust as strong or stronger.

Panellists: Yasuo Sakamoto, vice-minister for policy coordination, ministry of internal affairs and communications, Japan; Brahima Sanou, director of the Telecommunication Development Bureau at the International Telecommunication Union; Mamadou Konate, director general, Poste de Côte d'Ivoire; Tammy Whitcomb, deputy inspector general, United States Postal Service; Roberto Cavanna Merchán, secretary general, Postal Union of the Americas, Spain and Portugal

16:45 – 18:15  Panel 9: The postal sector: an essential vector of the global economy and sustainable development

The contribution of the postal sector to the domestic, regional and global economies is increasingly recognized by governments and international actors. In the current international context of globalization, a resilient and universal global postal network is an enormous asset and an important tool for supporting sustainable development objectives at national and global levels in their three dimensions (economic, social and environmental). Panelists will discuss how the UPU, its members and the postal sector at large can contribute to the sustainable development agenda of the United Nations for the benefit of economies, societies and all citizens worldwide.

Panellists: Philip Jennings, secretary general, UNI Global; Bruno Koné, minister of post and telecommunication in Côte d'Ivoire;  Pascal Clivaz, deputy director general, Universal Postal Union (UPU); Achim Steiner, executive director, United Nations Environment Programme; Amina Mohammed, special advisor of the United Nations' secretary-general on post-2015 development planning; Modesto Guzman, director general, Inposodom

18:15 – 18:30  Driving change – Vision 2020

Concluding remarks and outcomes by UPU Director General Bishar A. Hussein

18:30 – 18:45  Closing ceremony



List of participants