Tajik leader calls on ECO member nations to expand cooperation in combating infectious diseases

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Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan opened the Summit in Pakistan’s capacity as the Chair of the 13th Summit, held in Islamabad in March 2017 and Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan chaired the 14th Summit.

In a statement delivered at the summit, Tajik President Emomali Rahmon expressed confidence that the summit will serve to overcome the deep global economic and social crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Tajik president’s official website says.

Tajik leader, in particular, noted that there was considerable room for expansion of trade between the ECO member nations. According to him, the trade of Tajikistan with ECO member nations accounted for only 8 percent of a total volume of the country’s foreign trade turnover.

Rahmon called on the ECO member nations to expand cooperation in the fields, of transportation, communications, energy, industry, mining, and environmental protection.

Tajik president reportedly supported an idea to establish the Clean Energy Center for the ECO region.

It is to be noted that the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and the ECO, with the financial support of the Austrian Development Agency (ADA), are partnering on the establishment of the Clean Energy Center for the ECO region. The Implementation Framework of the ECO Vision 2025 aims to establish the regional center by 2025.

Tajik leader also called on the ECO member nations to expand cooperation in combating the infectious diseases, specially the coronavirus infection.

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 programs and projects.

Founded in 1985 in Tehran by the leaders of Iran, Pakistan, and Turkey, the Economic Cooperation Organization or ECO is an Asian political and economic intergovernmental organization, which provides a platform to discuss ways to improve development and promote trade and investment opportunities. The ECO is an ad hoc organization under the United Nations Charter. The objective is to establish a single market for goods and services, much like the European Union. The ECO's secretariat and cultural department are located in Iran, its economic bureau is in Turkey and its scientific bureau is situated in Pakistan.

The nature of the ECO is that it consists of predominantly Muslim-majority states as it is a trade bloc for the Central Asian states connected to the Mediterranean through Turkey, to the Persian Gulf via Iran, and to the Arabian Sea via Pakistan. The current framework of the ECO expresses itself mostly in the form of bilateral agreements and arbitration mechanisms between individual and fully sovereign member states.

The Organization has ten full members, including Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan.

ECO observers include Northern Cyprus; Organization of Islamic Cooperation, Turkic Council, and Energy Charter.

Source: Asia-Plus