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    • Fifth North and Central Asia Multi-Stakeholder Forum on Implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals
      Fifth North and Central Asia Multi-Stakeholder Forum on Implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals
      ECO Deputy Secretary General, H.E. Dr. Seyed Yahya Akhlaghi participated in the Fifth North and Central Asia Multi-Stakeholder Forum on Implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals held virtually on October 7, 2021.

      Attending the event on the invitation on Head of UNESCAP, the Dr. Seyed Yahya Akhlaghi, in his statement, during Plenary and Breakout (1) "Trade & investment", said that the Economic Cooperation Organization seeks to facilitate trade through progressive tariff liberalization within the ECO Trade Agreement also known as the ECOTA. Signed in 2003 the agreement seeks to establish a mechanism to reinforce economic cooperation through the elimination of non-tariff barriers, reduction of tariffs and the exchange of concessions within the region.

      “The Clearing Union would also imbibe predictability, transparency and uniformity to the trade related payment systems and recue the costs of transactions as well as cut on hidden costs,” he added.

      The Deputy Secretary General added that the Organization expects the volume of the intra-regional trade to increase substantially as envisaged in ECO Vision-2025 through Regional Value Chains (RVCs) and implementation of the agreed legal and institutional frameworks, such as the ECO Trade Agreement (ECOTA) and the ECO Agreement on Promotion and Protection of Investment (APPI) and Trade Facilitation Agreement, Agreements on Customs Cooperation and the ECO Reinsurance Company.

      Dr. Akhlaghi also said that ‘Trade creation’ and ‘trade diversion’ under the ECOTA and the promotion of investment among special economic zones (SEZs) and Free Trade Zones (FTZs) can create more trade flows.

      The North and Central Asian Multi-Stakeholder Forum on Implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (Subregional SDG Forum) is an annual event organized since 2017 by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) and partners from within and outside the United Nations system.

      The Subregional SDG Forum provides an opportunity to discuss the current situation of implementation of the SDGs in North and Central Asian countries and possible actions and solutions for the acceleration of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

      The Subregional SDG Forum's outcomes and recommendations will feed into regional and global processes, in particular the annual Asia-Pacific Forum for Sustainable Development (APFSD) and the High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) in New York.

      This year, the annual North and Central Asian Multi-Stakeholder Forum was co-hosted by the Government of Turkmenistan.

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