Welcoming the leaders of states and all participants of the XV ECO Summit in Ashgabat, the ECO Secretary General, Mr. Khusrav Noziri, noted the importance of this high-level meeting for the Economic Cooperation Organization in terms of assessing its activities and determining further development paths.
As he noted in his speech, the Summit is a unique opportunity to reaffirm common commitments and efforts to expand regional partnership. The relevance of the meeting, the topic of which is defined as “Together for the Future”, is due to the current situation during the ongoing pandemic of the new coronavirus infection. In this context, Mr. Khusrav Noziri emphasized the importance of the “Roadmap for Cooperation” developed under the chairmanship of Turkmenistan.
Speaking about the upcoming plans, the ECO Secretary General noted that trade is the engine of economic growth and plays a decisive role in the socio-economic development of the Organization's member states. In this regard, emphasis was placed on the importance of expanding regional trade and global ECO exports, as outlined in the ECO 2025 Outlook.
At the same time, the need was emphasized for the practical implementation of the decisions taken following the results of the ministerial meetings held in 2021, the provisions of the ECO Trade Agreement concerning the reduction of customs tariffs and other relevant documents, as well as a number of joint projects.
One of the main tasks in this direction is to make regional trade more secure and free of any risks. Talking about it, Mr. Khusrav Noziri highlighted the importance of establishing an ECO clearing union between the central banks of the Organization's partner countries to facilitate prompt economic transactions related to trade. The work of the ECO regional institute on standardization, conformity assessment, accreditation and metrology will also contribute to the achievement of these goals.
Among the promising vectors of partnership were the transport and communication sector, energy and tourism, where there are ample opportunities for building up effective interaction within the ECO. The achievement of the set goals in these areas will largely be facilitated by the presence in the region of a huge resource, transport, transit and energy potential, appropriate infrastructure, as well as the rich historical and cultural heritage of the peoples of the ECO member states.
An important component of expanding the ECO's external relations is strengthening cooperation with such organizations and structures as the UN and its specialized agencies, OIC, European Commission, IDB, WTO, ASEAN, SCO, Organization of Turkic States and others, said Mr. Khusrav Noziri.
At the end of his speech, the Secretary General of the Economic Cooperation Organization expressed confidence that the results of the current Summit will contribute to further building up fruitful and diverse contacts between the ECO member states, taking into account the interests and capabilities of all parties.