ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: President Mamnoon Hussain on Wednesday said the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) members needed to strengthen transport and communication infrastructure, facilitate trade and investment and identify its important sectoral priorities for the development and growth in the region.
Talking to a delegation of attorneys/prosecutors general of ECO Countries led by Secretary General Halil Ibrahim Akca at the Aiwan-e-Sadr in Islamabad, the president pointed out that economic complementarities held the promise of expanding both inter-regional and intra-regional trade and cooperation within the ECO framework.
The president said the ECO Trade Agreement (ECOTA) was the organization’s major initiative towards trade liberalization in the ECO region. He stressed that an effective judicial cooperation would contribute to the security, stability and economic uplift of the region. He said the ECO region, located at the crossroads, had both the potential and the capacity to function as a bridge between North and South, Europe and Asia.
President Mamnoon further stressed the importance of combating transnational crimes including terrorism, money laundering and drug trafficking and reiterated the significance of judicial cooperation between the ECO member states.
Mamnoon Hussain said as the current chairman of ECO, Pakistan realized its responsibility and extended its full support to the ECO projects and initiatives.
The president emphasized that institutional and people-to-people connectivity was of immense importance for the region.
President Mamnoon Hussain said the deliberations at the third meeting of attorneys/prosecutors general would lead to enhanced judicial cooperation between ECO member states. He observed the meeting would help participants exchange perceptions of crimes such as acts of terrorism, smuggling and money laundering.
The president hoped 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 endangered legal safety and security of all Countries in the region, he added.
The president said the 13th ECO Summit held in Islamabad last year adopted the Islamabad Declaration and ECO vision 2025 which provided guidelines for greater economic integration within the ECO region. He said the declaration focused on “Connectivity” as a dynamic concept encompassing multiple dimensions from transit transport linkages to cyber connections.
President Mamnoon said 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 organization in the coming years.