Dec 15, 2017, 5:13 PM
News Code: 82764419
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ECO agrees to enhance trade volume to $120b

Islamabad, Dec 15, IRNA - The Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) countries have agreed to double the trade volume among the member states from the current $60 billion to $120 billion.

The announcement was made by Pakistan's Deputy Chairman Planning Commission, Sartaj Aziz at the end of the 28th Meeting of the Regional Planning Council (RPC) of the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) that was held from 11th to 14th December in Islamabad.

He said that it was agreed that trade volume among the member states should further enhance as it stood at US$60 billion, which was lower as against the true potential.

Iranian delegation led by Deputy Minister of Economic Affairs Mirshojaeian Hosseini took active part in all sessions of the conference.

The ECO countries have also decided to enhance cooperation in energy, economic research, communication, anti drug trafficking, Human Resources and tourism among Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) countries.

The RPC of ECO is composed of the Heads of Planning Organizations of member states and meets at least once a year prior to the annual meeting of the Council of Ministers. It evolves basic strategies/policies and plans in accordance with the objectives and principles of regional cooperation laid down in the Treaty of Izmir, as well as policy guidelines of the Council of Ministers.

The meeting deliberated on the progress made since the 13th ECO Summit held in Islamabad on 1 March 2017. The Secretary General of ECO, Halil Ibrahim Akca briefed the meeting on the ongoing activities of the Organization and progress made in various fields, trade and investment; transport and communications; agriculture and food security; energy and environment; and international relations.

The meeting also discussed the developments of ECO since its expansion and exchanged views on the possible reforms needed for keeping pace with the evolving requirements of regional cooperation.

The key area of focus of the meeting was the implementation of ECO Vision 2025, which was adopted during the 13th ECO Summit. It provides a realistic and achievable roadmap for accelerating economic integration that works to the common good of all our people.

The ECO Secretariat and the Ministry of Planning Development and Reforms also hosted an ECO Day reception on the sidelines of the RPC.

Earlier President of Pakistan Mamnoon Hussain urged the member states of the Economic Cooperation Organization to enrich cooperation in the infrastructure and energy sectors.

He said that the ECO countries have enormous potential for bilateral and multilateral trade as well as joint projects.

The ECO was established in 1985 by Iran, Pakistan and Turkey which was later joined by seven new members; Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.

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