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ECO trade, ECO Trade and Investment Bank accords

13 February, 2013

ISLAMABAD: First President of Parliamentary Assembly of Economic Cooperation Organisation (ECO) member countries and National Assembly of Pakistan Speaker Dr Fehmida Mirza on Tuesday urged the speakers of the parliaments of the ECO member countries to push their governments for early completion of the ratifying process of ECO trade and ECO Trade and Investment Bank agreements waiting approval from last many years.

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ISLAMABAD: First President of Parliamentary Assembly of Economic Cooperation Organisation (ECO) member countries and National Assembly of Pakistan Speaker Dr Fehmida Mirza on Tuesday urged the speakers of the parliaments of the ECO member countries to push their governments for early completion of the ratifying process of ECO trade and ECO Trade and Investment Bank agreements waiting approval from last many years.

Speaking at closing ceremony of the 1st Parliamentary Assembly of ECO member countries meeting at a local hotel, she said that ECO Trade Agreement (ECOTA) which was initialed a decade ago has got ratification from only five countries out of a total ten member states and similarly agreement on ECO Trade and Investment Bank has been ratified only by four member countries.

Endorsement of these agreement would help moving forward for helping private sector of the member countries to engage themselves in linkages for trade promotion, member countries have to remove trade and investment barriers linkage through road, rail, air and sea is to be strengthened for exploiting true potential of the economic cooperation among the member countries, she said.

She also urged that collective efforts should be made to have a combined approach for achieving Millennium Development Goals (MGDs) as the region lags behind.

Iranian parliament member Mehdi Sonai said that parliamentarians from ECO member countries should play their role in minimising influence of the big powers in the region and this could only be happened when ECO member countries would be promoting trade and investment among themselves.

A parliamentarian from Azerbaijan was of the view that inter regional connectivity is essential for promoting economic cooperation as the geographic location of the region provides many opportunities for mutual benefits.

National Assembly Deputy Speaker Faisal Karim Kundi, while speaking at the dialogue between the parliamentarians said that ECO region has been blessed with an abundance of resources like oil, gas, coal and other various types of minerals as well as industrial and agricultural products. There is need to exploit these resources for mutual benefits and a collective political will and the modus operandi.

MNA Engineer Khurram Dastgir Khan said that existing trade structure of 10-member states is oriented towards the West and East, not towards each other. Lack of parliamentary involvement is a missing link in achieving the desired economic integration in ECO member states. He urged that ECO parliamentarians need to play an active role in strengthening economic cooperation primarily in the areas like commerce, trade, infrastructure, connectivity and energy.

MNA Ms Shrerin Arshad Khan was of the view that for promotion of economic cooperation ECO Trade and Investment frameworks should be implemented, liberal visa regimes be put in place and directory of the regional entrepreneur be published to promote business to business contacts. She also voiced for promoting women entrepreneurs on equal basis.

MNA Begum Shehnaz Wazir Ali urged the speakers and parliamentarians of ECO member countries that women should be fully represented in the parliaments so that not only the economic but social development is equally beneficial for women and children.

MNA Tariq Fazal Chaudhry urged that ECO parliaments commitment to follow sustained poverty reduction strategy and a minimum allocation of 4.5 percent of their gross domestic product for social sector development and poverty reduction expenditures.

MNA Nuzhat Sadiq said that parliamentary oversight is essential for legislating and holding governments accountable. She urged that PAECO should follow the agenda of progress and prosperity by promoting trade and investment between the member countries.

End.


 
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