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      Agriculture and industry are the key sectors which can boost economic growth of the region through increasing productivity. In 2001 seven out of ten ECO Member Countries were low income food deficit countries whereas the number decreased to four in 2015. In 2015, number of under-nourished people in the region was about 53 million, almost 12% of the total population. The battle to end hunger and poverty must be principally fought in rural areas, where half of the ECO population and the most hungry and poor live. To eradicate hunger requires a combination of pro-poor investments in sustainable agriculture, rural development and social protection measures to lift people out of chronic undernourishment and poverty.

      Immediate steps are required to increase volumes, improve quality and decrease cost of production to satisfy the regional demand for food. This can be realized by, increased agricultural productivity via transferring and changing agro-technology, cooperating on agricultural research and extension, implementing right agro-policy reforms, increasing human capital productivity in the rural areas, optimum usage of natural resources (especially water) and benefitting from international trade in the ECO Region.

      Industry is one of the main drivers which bring nations to more prosperous and sustainable futures. ECO Member Countries are at varying degrees of industrialization. The extent of industrial and technological development particularly in the hi-tech arena is very limited thus requiring particular attention. Prevalence of natural and economic human resource is among the advantages that makes investment in industries, affordable and cost effective. However, different factors particularly lack of optimum knowledge of regional capacities, ambiguous regulations and fluctuating/complicated procedures are impeding factors. Furthermore, absence of national strategic policies toward an effective regional cooperation, ambiguity in defining the targets and objectives, skewed financing and non-involvement of women, lack of proper connectivity, regional sub-quality infrastructure and insufficient capacity of for high-tech and new technologies are among the deficiencies for a rapid and cohesive industrial cooperation among the Member Countries. Industrial paradigm of the ECO Region needs to be readjusted as far as possible to contribute to the growth and productivity while meeting the SDG's through adoption of relevant ‘standards and criteria’ and ‘establishment and enhancement of quality infrastructure’ in the Region.

      Promoting investment and attracting foreign capital are the key policies to help introduce new technologies and competencies in ECO Region; however it requires investment friendly climate and business environment. In this context attracting foreign direct Investment will be crucial to boost region’s economic development by generating employment, developing human resources, ‘allowing resource and technology transfer’ and ‘increasing productivity and innovation’.

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