What future ECO?
The Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) comprising Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, aims to provide a platform to discuss ways to improve development and promote trade and investment opportunities to the member states. Much like the European Union, ECO works for the establishment of a single market for goods and services in the region.
Lately, the organization has been less efficient in working towards its objectives. In a recent meeting between Muhammad Yahya P Maroofi, Secretary General of the ECO and Mir Changez Khan Jamali, Pakistan’s Federal Minister for Science and Technology, stress was laid on the need for an effective role of the ECO.
“The organisation should work for effective utilisation of the agricultural and industrial potentials of ECO region, and joint efforts to gain freer access to markets outside the ECO for the raw materials and finished products of the member states,” Jamali said.
The two leaders discussed matters related to the development of research in science and technology. Federal Secretary, Ministry of Science and Technology, Irfan Nadeem and officials of the ECO were also present on the occasion.
The ECO Secretary General was of the view that the region was lacking in appropriate infrastructure and institutions which the organization was seeking to develop on priority basis to make full use of the available resources in the region. He said that over the past 12 years member states have been collaborating to accelerate the pace of regional development through their common endeavours. Besides shared cultural and historic affinities, they have been able to use the existing infrastructure and business links to further fortify their resolve to transform their hopes and aspirations into a tangible reality. ECO has embarked on several projects in priority sectors of cooperation including energy, trade, transportation, agriculture and drug control, he added.
Pak-Afghan Transit Trade Agreement is said to be leveraged as a legal framework that would enhance trade between Afghanistan and Pakistan. Maroofi hoped there would be more such Agreements within the region.
Earlier the minister welcomed
ECO has embarked on several projects in priority sectors of cooperation including energy, trade, transportation, agriculture and drug control. The member countries have used the existing infrastructural and business links to fortify the trade agreements. The need of the hour however demands much tangible trade ties and cooperation among the ten member states
the secretary general and highlighted the functions and objectives of his ministry, adding that the Ministry of Science and Technology was an effective arm of the government of Pakistan. He emphasised the need for an effective science and technology (S&T) Research base which would lead to the socio-economic development of the country in order to achieve the vision for a better Pakistan. He said it was important for Pakistan to build on its technological competence and develop a larger pool of human resource to reverse the brain drain and to integrate the soft technology infrastructure into a strong modern technological base.