The First Meeting of the Heads of National Development Funds of ECO Member States, held virtually on December 16, 2020 under the chairmanship of the Islamic Republic of Iran, was attended by relevant Representatives of the Member States, ECO Secretariat, ECO Trade and Development Bank and ECO Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
In his inaugural statement, the ECO Secretary General H.E. Dr. Hadi Soleimanpour recalled that an expanded intra-regional trade and attraction of investments were ECO’s primary and strategic objectives for sustainable socioeconomic development in the region. He underlined that cooperation amongst the region’s capital markets remained one of the organization’s key areas for achieving the desired objectives. Noting the importance of the establishment of ECO National Development Funds as well as the region’s huge investment potential, he hoped that the intended forum might devise a feasible mechanism for enhanced economic activities and financing some regional infrastructure projects to attract the increased Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in the Region.
The Minister of Finance and Economy of Turkmenistan, H.E. Mr. Muhammetgeldi Serdarov participated in the event as special guest. While extending his gratitude to the Secretariat, as well as the Islamic Republic of Iran to host this important meeting, he said that Turkmenistan attaches great importance to the ECO Member States. He also appreciated the initiative for establishing the intended wealth forum of the Member States, acknowledging its significance for the development and growth in the Region.
The Chair of the event as well as President/Head of Iran National Development, Dr. Shahidi Zade underscored the importance of mutually beneficial investment for an accelerated economic development in the region. He also emphasized on the significance of joining global value chains and connecting regional capacities to world markets.
While adopting a joint declaration, the meeting explored the possible ways and means for establishing the proposed ECO platform. It further took into account various features of the proposal, including its technical, financial and administrative aspects. The Meeting decided to hold second round of discussions, in due course, to push forward the process for establishing the perceived network.