Call for ECO Members to Promote Regional Prosperity

Call for ECO Members to Promote Regional ProsperityCall for ECO Members to Promote Regional Prosperity

President Hassan Rouhani urged fellow member states of the Economic Cooperation Organization to play a major joint role in bringing economic prosperity to the region, underscoring the capabilities of ECO countries.

"The ECO can and should play a prominent role in building the future economy of our region," President Rouhani said in an address to the 13th Economic Cooperation Organization Summit in Islamabad, Pakistan, on Wednesday, the first day of the two-day summit.

Rouhani referred to "the unique status" of ECO countries in transit and transport, energy and commercial sectors and said, "Situated on the shores of several strategic waterways of the world and in the neighborhood of five important bodies of water, our countries have provided unique geopolitical and territorial conditions for our organization."

"There is no other trade and transit route linking Europe to Asia in a more cost-effective and shorter manner than the ECO pathway," he said, according to a transcript of his statements posted by Tasnim News Agency.

The president said the potential for intra-regional cooperation among ECO members is yet to be fully tapped.

"Unfortunately, our intra-regional cooperation and trade in the energy sector remain low and it is necessary for us to utilize ECO's capacity for improving cooperation among member states for further production and trade of energy in the future," he said.

"Mobilizing our facilities, we are able to encourage and accelerate more growth for our countries."

Rouhani called for easing visa requirements and tariff restrictions to help facilitate visits and trade among ECO nations.

"The economic strengthening of ECO is tied to the close link among our people. We should remove obstacles hindering links among our people so that visits and cooperation are eased," he said.

"We should lift barriers of visa, tariffs, transit, transport and investment so that we provide our private sector and economic activists with the opportunity to go across higher horizons."

ECO, which has its headquarters in Tehran, comprises 10 members, namely Pakistan, Turkey, Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, as well as the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Set up in 1985, ECO aims to promote economic, technical and cultural cooperation among member states.

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