On August 22, 2019, the ECO Secretary General, H.E. Dr. Hadi Soleimanpour held a meeting with the Minister of Economic Development and Trade of the Republic of Tajikistan, H.E. Mr. Nematullo Hikmatullozoda and briefed him on the latest development on economic and trade cooperation in the ECO region as well as the achievements of the organization in those areas.
During the meeting, Mr. Hikmatullozoda underlined the great human and natural potential in the ECO region as well as the importance of its effecient utilization for the progress and prosperity of the ECO nations. He also underscored the continuity of Tajikistan’s relations with the ECO in various spheres, adding that the ECO’s chairmanship of Tajikistan coincided with an important span of time.
Considering the ECOTA Trade Agreement as one of the Tajik side's first proposals during its chairmanship, Mr. Hikmatullozoda noted that despite the passage of 20 years since signing of the said agreement, its full implementation has yet to take place. Given the current realities, it is necessary to re-consider the ECOTA Trade Agreement, he opined.
The ECO Secretary General stated that economy and trade fall within the ECO’s priority areas having special place in its Vision-2025. He underlined the necessity for strengthening economic, trade, financial and investment ties amongst the Member States. He also informed the Minister on ECO-TDB, suggesting Tajikistan to consider its membership. In his view, the establishment of ECO Clearing Union would facilitate ensuring better conditions for payments in the region, promote financial and monetary cooperation and facilitate expanded trade and economic collaboration amongst the Member States.
The ECO Secretary General apprised the Minister of the results of 8th Meeting of the ECOTA Cooperation Council held on August 18-19 2019 at the ECO Secretariat in Tehran. Both sides made an exchange of views on holding a meeting of the Ministers of Economy agreed by the President of the Republic of Tajikistan.
Minister Hikmatullozoda, while making a deep analysis on the current global and regional economic situation, noted that for convening this meeting at a high-level, the ECO Secretary should ensure detailed analytical material on the ECO countries' economic situation, economic and trade cooperation prospects, elimination of barriers in fostering these relations as well as a conceptual view of the agenda of meeting covering position of all Member States. In this context, establishing a Working Group comprising of relevant experts deems necessary to be properly prepared for the event, he said.
Both sides agreed that the Secretariat's and the host country's experts would collaboratively undertake the necessary measures for securing the desired outcomes.