Secretary General of Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO), H.E. Dr. Hadi Soleimanpour visited Islamabad from 12-15 March 2019 on his first visit to the Islamic Republic of Pakistan since he assumed the office of the Secretary General in August last year.
During the visit, on 13 March 2019, the Secretary General paid a courtesy call on the Honourbale Prime Minister of Pakistan, H.E. Mr. Imran Khan. At the very outset, the Secretary General congratulated the Prime Minister of Pakistan on his election as premier of the country and expressed his belief that his election would be proved as an asset for Pakistan and the region.
The Secretary General appreciated the vision of the Prime Minister on regionalism and underlined the significance of ECO as geo-economic regional organization. He explained the historical importance of Silk Route which was the backbone of the economic integration of the region in the past. He briefed the Prime Minister about background and activities of the ECO and presented an overview of the main developments made in various fields of cooperation including Trade, Regional Connectivity, Energy, Tourism and External Relations.
Dr. Soleimanpour expressed gratitude to the Prime Minister for providing opportunity to apprise him the strategic goals of the organization reflected in ECO Vision 2025 and seeking Prime Minister’s guidance for the realization of those objectives. The Secretary General also presented an update on the following key initiatives/proposals:
Latest developments on the implementation of ECO Trade Agreement (ECOTA)
ITI Corridor and up-gradation of Quetta-Taftan railway track and possibility of inviting interested countries including China to invest in corridors/projects for regional connectivity.
Proposal for enhancing the mandate of the ECO Bank (ECOTDB)
ECO Clearing Union as a significant regional framework for increasing trade growth of the member states
Enhancing the sense of ownership through ECO Reform process finalized by the Islamabad ECO Summit in 2017.
The Secretary General thanked the Prime Minter for providing his guidance and support for the fulfillment of objectives of the organization.