ECO Summit – PM Imran stresses regional connectivity for development

06:35 PM | 4 Mar, 2021
ECO Summit – PM Imran stresses regional connectivity for development

ISLAMABAD – Prime Minister Imran Khan urged the members of the Economic Cooperation Organization to take full advantage of of geographical location, economic assets and political relationships for achieving the common goals.

He was addressing after virtually inaugurating the 14th ECO summit on Thursday. The premier said that regional connectivity and integration have proven vital for growth and development.

He added that economic activities will multiply by enhancing physical structure.

The prime minister also presented the six-point plan for securing the common objectives of the ECO member states. He said, “We need to recover robustly from the economic and health crises induced by the Covid-19”.

“We must adopt a plan to build resilient health care systems to respond to such crises in the future,” je added.

Imran Khan stressed on a need to develop an integrated transport network to facilitate both intra-ECO trade and serve as a pathway for trade between major economies of the East and the West, North and South. He said Istanbul-Tehran-Islamabad commercial cargo train and proposed Uzbekistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan railway links are important regional connectivity projects. In addition, linking CPEC with Afghanistan and beyond is vital, according to Radio Pakistan.

“We must implement the cross border projects already agreed under the ECO members, including TAPI gas pipeline and the CASA-1000, establishing an ECO investment agency and organizing an annual ECO investment fair,” he highlighted.

Our mutual trade which is just eight percent of our total trade could be expanded ten-fold, he said.

He lauded Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the current chair, for his timely initiative amidst the COVID-19 scenario.

The Prime Minister said the ECO members states are severely affected by the health, economic crisis unleashed by COVID-19 pandemic with over 150 million people hit by the virus and over 2.5 million lost their lives.

He highlighted that the rich countries injected $20 trillion to their economies to come out of economic fallout of the pandemic, adding that the developing countries donot have the capacity for fiscal space.

He also called upon the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) to devise a joint strategy to ensure an equitable access and distribution of COVID-19 vaccine for the public good.

Talking about Islamophobia, he said that linking terrorism to Islam is injustice to Muslim community.

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