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Calls for Stronger ECO Banking Relations

The second day of the 21st meeting of executive committees for ECO Chamber of Commerce and Industries in Tehran August 15. (Photo: Bahareh Taqiabadi)The second day of the 21st meeting of executive committees for ECO Chamber of Commerce and Industries in Tehran August 15. (Photo: Bahareh Taqiabadi)

Economic Cooperation Organization’s member-states have called for the establishment of stronger banking relations.

On the second day of the 21st meeting of executive committees for ECO Chamber of Commerce and Industries, delegates declared the slow progress in banking deals and the delayed issuance of visas—the two most important hurdles on the way of expanded trade relations.

They expressed their discontent at the static implementation of earlier trade deals, the webasite of Iran Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture reported.

Established in 1985 by Iran, Pakistan and Turkey, ECO is a regional organization that works to promote economic, technical and cultural cooperation among its member states. The focus in the economic field is to foster commerce through the removal of trade barriers and development of a transport infrastructure.

Another topic of discussion was ECOTA (ECO Trade Agreement), developed in July 2003 to promote intra- and inter-regional trade and to remove trade barriers.

Mohammad Reza Karbasi, secretary-general of ECOCCI, noted that ECOTA has not yet been implemented and is one such barrier in the way of improved ties.

Another challenge facing ECO, he added, is the process of providing banking services.

“The current state of banking relations between ECO member states is unacceptable. The cost of trade deals between the countries is extremely high because we use banking services provided by a third-party country,” he said.

The official noted that ECO Export Development Bank has failed to play its part effectively, “but we must also not forget that government support is vital regarding this matter”.

Karbasi further said the issuance of visas and problems facing merchants seeking them constitute other challenges. 

Financialtribune.com