ISLAMABAD -  President Mamnoon Hussain has emphasised that the Economic Cooperation Organisation region, has the potential and the capacity to function as a bridge between Europe and Asia. 

Talking to a delegation of Economic Cooperation Organisation (ECO) led by its  Secretary General Halil Ibrahim Akca at the Aiwan-e-Sadr, Islamabad on Wednesday President underscored the importance of combating transnational crimes including terrorism, money laundering and drug trafficking  among the ECO-member States.

He said that the efforts should be stepped up for promotion of people-to-people contact and institutional cooperation among the member States of the ECO.

The President stated that as the current Chairman of the ECO, Pakistan realised its responsibility and extended its full support to the ECO projects and initiatives.

He emphasised that the institutional and people-to-people connectivity was of immense importance for the region.

The President highlighted that the deliberations at the 3rd Meeting of Attorneys/Prosecutors General would lead to enhanced judicial cooperation between the ECO member States.

He underlined that the meeting would help participants exchange perceptions of crimes such as acts of terrorism, smuggling and money laundering.

The President expressed the hope that the meeting would also address possible oversight mechanisms to combat those crimes at the regional and international level.

The common threats including cyber-crimes endanger legal safety and security of all countries in the region, he added.

The President stressed that effective judicial cooperation would contribute to the security, stability and economic uplift of the region.

He underscored that the ECO members needed to strengthen transport and communication infrastructure, facilitate trade and investment and identify important sectoral priorities of the ECO for development and growth in the region.

The President pointed out that economic complementarities hold the promise of expanding both inter-regional and intra-regional trade and cooperation within the ECO framework.

He added that the ECO Trade Agreement (ECOTA) was the organisation’s major initiative towards trade liberalisation in the ECO region.

The President stated that the 13th ECO Summit held in Islamabad last year adopted the Islamabad Declaration and ECO Vision 2025.

He stressed that the Islamabad Declaration provided guidelines for greater economic integration within the ECO region.

The declaration focuses on “connectivity” as a dynamic concept encompassing multiple dimensions from transit transport linkages to cyber connections, he added. The President stated that the execution of “ECO Vision-2025” underscored the importance of working together for ECO’s prosperity and Pakistan believed that ECO Vision 2025 would serve as a roadmap for the success of the organisation in the coming years.

PM for enhanced trade

among ECO member States

Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi has stressed the need for exploiting huge potential among the Economic Cooperation Organisation-member States for trade enhancement, regional connectivity, tourism promotion and cementing people-to-people contacts.

Abbasi was talking to the ECO Secretary-General Ambassador Halil Ibrahim Akca, who called on him here on Wednesday.

Welcoming the ECO Secretary-General and his delegation to Pakistan, Prime Minister Abbasi said that Pakistan extended full support to the organisation in promoting bilateral as well as multilateral cooperation among the member countries.

He reiterated Pakistan’s continued commitment to play an active role for regional integration and strengthening multi-faceted cooperation through the ECO platform. 

The Prime Minister said that the ECO could play a critical role towards advancing these goals and bringing the people further closer to each other.

The ECO Secretary General thanked the Prime Minister for the warm welcome and said that the ECO Secretariat was actively working on putting in place a framework for promoting trade, enhancing regional connectivity through greater rail and road links and tourism promotion besides other areas of mutual benefit.

He said that the ECO was also actively involved in promoting cooperation among the member States to enable them cope with the existing challenges.

Acknowledging Pakistan’s active role in advancing ECO goals, the Secretary General appreciated Pakistan’s contributions towards making the ECO a vibrant body for strengthening multi-faceted cooperation between the ECO-member countries.

Ambassador Halil Ibrahim Akca expressed the hope that the two-day 3rd ECO Attorneys/Prosecutors General conference being held in Islamabad would be instrumental in putting in place an effective mechanism of cooperation among the member countries to combat serious crimes including drug trafficking, human smuggling, cyber crimes and other serious offences.