Prime Minister Imran Khan will virtually participate in the 14th ECO Summit today (Thursday) under the theme of ‘Regional Economic Cooperation in the aftermath of COVID-19.’
Prime Minister Khan will open the Summit in Pakistan’s capacity as the Chair of the 13th Summit, held in Islamabad in March 2017. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will chair the 14th Summit.
While sharing Pakistan’s perspective on COVID-19 challenges, the Prime Minister will outline his vision for regional economic development in line with ECO’s founding principles of promotion of trade and connectivity.
Pakistan is one of the founding members of Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) in addition to Iran and Turkey. The Organization was formed in 1985 from the erstwhile Regional Cooperation for Development (RCD).
Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan later joined as members of ECO.
As a founding member, Pakistan remains strongly committed to ECO which aims at promotion of effective regional cooperation, with focus on communications, trade, culture and connectivity.
14th #ECO Summit on the theme of “Regional Economic Cooperation in the Aftermath of Covid-19”will be held virtually tomorrow. PM @ImranKhanPTI will open the Summit in 🇵🇰’s capacity as Chair of 13th Summit. President @RTErdogan will Chair 14th Summit.1/2
— Spokesperson 🇵🇰 MoFA (@ForeignOfficePk) March 3, 2021
The Summit is the highest platform in the 10-member ECO. The Summit meetings entail exchange of views on regional and global issues of interest to the ECO region and review of the progress in implementation of ECO programmes and projects.
Pakistan has been actively contributing towards advancement of the goals and objectives of ECO, including regional economic integration.
ECO Vision 2025
An ECO Vision 2025 policy has been adopted by the Council of Ministers which showcase the priorities of the organization for the next eight years.
The 2025 Vision lays down three long-term priorities, development of transport and communication infrastructure, improving conditions for trade and investment; and interlinking of the region’s energy resources.
Sartaj Aziz, Advisor on Foreign Affairs, while stressing cooperation said, “Global peace, stability and prosperity cannot be achieved in silos in the inter-connected world of today.” In addition, he pointed out that the long term prospects of ECO are dependent on political will of all the member states and on finding a common ground to work together.
The summit also offers opportunities for interesting discussions on other matters such as terrorism. A plight that is affecting not only Pakistan and Afghanistan but also Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU) which is a serious threat for Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and other Central Asian states and the ETIM which threatens China.