An ECO delegation headed by Dr. Sayed Yahya Akhlaqi, Deputy Secretary General of the Economic Cooperation Organization participated in the 2020 SPECA Economic Forum held on November 18, 2020 under the Chairmanship of Kyrgyz Republic.
In his statement, Dr. Akhlaqi underlined the aspects of some initial reactions to the COVID-19 pandemic. He noted that the early global managing response to control the spread, mitigation and eradication of the pandemic remained below expectation due to countries’ dealing with the disease inwards and individually. However, the obstinate nature of the Coronavirus made the world realize that only a regionally consolidated and internationally integrated approach could help address the ongoing crisis, he added.
While highlighting the globally observed negative impacts of the COVID-19, Dr. Akhlaqi underscored the post-pandemic’s affects that the ECO Region witnessed in view of the domestic containment measures and global disruption to trade, tourism and production. He also conveyed some significant initiatives made by the honourable ECO Secretary General Dr. Hadi Soleimanpour, including his approach to several prominent regional and international financial institutions to seek their collaborative engagements for supporting the ECO Region for maintaining access to finance some ECO projects in the ongoing era of crunch.
He informed the forum that the ECO secretariat has issued practical guidelines for Covid-19 that includes electronic solutions and procedures such as e-TIR and e-CMR instead of paper documents to expedite releases of trucks at borders and decrease risks of physical contacts among the people and timely transmission to the Secretariat the provisionally enforced regulatory and normative measures relating to application of procedures for vehicles, drivers and cargoes allowing unhindered passage for truck drivers and road trucks (loaded/unloaded).
Considering the essentiality of digital transformation of business, industry and societies in the aftermath of COVID-19, the ECO Deputy Secretary General regarded the SPECA as an important platform that could foster a closer and meaningful proactive collaboration amongst the international, regional, financial organizations and governments for making collective efforts to meet the negative impacts of Covid-19. He assured ECO’s readiness to work with all partner organizations and support any such decisions made to counter and eliminate the repercussions of the disease.
Providing excellent platform to the discussants for deliberating and developing ideas to make coordinated actions aiming at responding the post-pandemic affects, the Forum, inter alia, looked into the potential opportunities for enhanced regional cooperation to support sustainable and inclusive socioeconomic recovery efforts in the wake of the Coronavirus. The complementarities between the implementation of short-to-medium-term measures to shoulder the socioeconomic recovery were also discussed during the forum, in addition to the call for action to accelerate implementation of relevant international agendas.