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    • 4th ECO Business Forum successfully held in 26th Of November in Turkmenistan
      4th ECO Business Forum successfully held in 26th Of November in Turkmenistan
      The 4th Business Forum of the ECO Member States was held in hybrid format on 26th November 2021 in Asghabat, Turkmenistan and was successfully jointly organized by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Turkmenistan, ECO Secretariat, and ECO-Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ECO-CCI). The Business forum was attended by the delegates from the ECO countries including Chambers of Commerce and Industry, high level representatives of different Ministries of Turkmenistan as well as representatives from the International Organizations and International Financial Institutions namely UNESCAP, UNECE, UNIDO,ADB, IDB, and ETDB etc.

      The Deputy Secretary General ECO, Dr. Sayed Yahya Akhlaqi, while addressing the forum highlighted the fact that the region there is a need for more regional integration to boost intra regional trade within the ECO member states through trade liberalization trade facilitation and greater connectivity. He apprised the forum about the project oriented approach by the ECO Secretariat in order to meet the targets set in the ECO Vision 2025 by the leaders of ECO Member States to meet the target set in the ECO vision 2025. He shared that the trade in the ECO Region has declined from US$ 708 billion in 2019 to US$ 661 billion in 2021, a share of less than 8 per cent in global trade. The operationalization of ECOTA can provide an impetus to trade expansion. He expressed his deep gratitude to the Government of the Turkmenistan and Turkmenistan Chamber of Commerce and Industry for holding such a successful event in these difficult times of covid-19.

      Mr. Zahid Hussain Abbasi, Director Trade and Investment also made a detailed presentation highlighting various aspects for greater business integration to increase regional trade as well as ECO's share in the global trade. He emphasize the need for greater competitiveness and diversification in the exports basket of the ECO region to create trade flows from the ECO to the rest of the world as well as within the ECO region. He shared various initiative taken by the ECO secretariat in this regard. He apprised the forum that the top ten exports and imports contain some products such as Mineral Fuels and products, Machinery and parts, plastics and products etc, which are exported by some Member States of ECO to the world, whilst some other Members import these from world due to high tariff and non- tariff costs. That's is the reason that intra regional trade remains at US$ 49.8 billion, a mere 7.5 per cent of its trade with the world. The forum was also addressed by speakers from International Organizations, International Financial Institutions Chambers of Commerce and Industries, Representatives of Government of Turkmenistan and ECO-CCI etc.

      Mr. Khodaei, Director of Transport and Communication of ECO , in his statement briefly elaborated the Projrct on Commerializing the Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan- Iran Railway Corridor (ECO- KTI ) that is aimed to convert the route intio an economic corridor.

      As mentioned by the director , the project comprising of three components started in 2017 and terminated in 2021. The project envisages establishment of a Corridor Management Mechanism (CMM) that will jointly administer the operation on the corridor and coordinate all the activities to finaly convert it to economic corridor.

      He further highlighed and appreciated the Islamic Development Bank and UNESCAP as partners of the Project and expressed interest to continue the exxellent collaborative relations in the future.
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