Customer, market, service: the three words defining the Ministerial Strategy Conference’s first panel

07.09.2018 - Panelists in the first session of the Ministerial Strategy Conference examined why with e-commerce sales creating strong growth, postal operators have been unable to surf the prosperity wave.

Disappointingly, postal operators appear to be trapped in what is called “postal-GDP decoupling”, where Posts have been unable to share in the profits from the soaring postal traffic driven by e-commerce.

There are, however, some positives, with Posts increasingly viewed as a key contributor to the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda, supporting businesses and citizens in the area of digitalization, connectivity, financial inclusion and resilience of national infrastructure.

Against this background, Alex Taylor, a former BBC journalist and presenter, skillfully led the panel discussion on this topic. He first invited Mouhamed Anouar Maarouf, the Minister of Communication and digital technologies, Tunisia, to comment.

Mr. Maarouf said Posts should be seen as performing a social service, but processes needed to change to improve upon the services already offered to companies and citizens. He said to do so, postal operators had to “ensure we are a trusted link that can offer digital administration services.”

Speaking next, the Minister of Digital Economy and Post, Côte d’Ivoire, Claude Isaac Dé, provided his views. Focusing on development, the minister stressed, “We need political will, and that needs to be strong political will, for the postal sector and its development.”

The Côte d’Ivoire Minister also called for greater public-private partnership approaches and noted that such partnerships “can garner trust and confidence throughout the country.” But, he quipped, “ppp stands for public-private-partnership, but also for preparation, preparation, preparation!”

Minister of Post, Information Technology & Communication, Algeria Houda-Imane Faraoun targeted the problem of supporting loss-making businesses. She said, “We can’t with one profit-making activity subsidize an activity making a loss – this is not sustainable.”

Targeting the need for better customer service, the Director-General, State Post Bureau of the People's Republic of China, Junsheng Ma, said, “Customer, market, service: these three words are very important to us and only by understanding them do we have a future.” He later said, “We are in a unique position to deliver service because we are responsible for the universal service.”

One of the overriding themes of the panel, and the view of many panelists, was the need for trust and credibility among customers. Other views expressed included the importance of public-private partnerships policy support and the need to enhance the image of the postal sector.  



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