Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Wednesday said that Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) was an important forum to promote connectivity in the region, adding that the ECO regions has immense potentials as 52 percent of world trade is carried out through the region.
Addressing the 13th ECO Summit 2017 in Islamabad on Wednesday after assuming its chairmanship, the Prime Minister said that Pakistan wanted promotion of regional connectivity and trade in the region for which the most important forum was ECO.
“The ECO region has immense potential as 52 percent trade of the world is carried out through the region. But to exploit the potential and shared prosperity we need to promote connections and cooperation,” the Prime Minister called.
Highlighting the importance of Pakistan in the regions, Nawaz Sharif said now it is high time that we should play our role to put the region on the path of progress and prosperity.
He informed the participants of the summit that after taking over in 2013 he adopted the policy of peaceful neighborhood so that balance of power in the region could be maintained.
On the occasion, the Prime Minister thanked China, UN and OIC representatives for participating in the Summit as observer.
The Prime Minister said Islamabad Declaration would reflect the consensus and resolve of ECO member states to collectively take on the contemporary economic challenges.
He called for intensified collaboration to exploit enormous potential of ECO to turn the region into a citadel of peace, progress and prosperity.
The Prime Minister called for sustained focus on key areas identified for cooperation in the Islamabad Declaration including trade, transport and energy which could lead to a transformative change across the region.
PM Nawaz Sharif pointed out that meaningful trade in the region cannot take place without better cooperation on transport, infrastructure and connectivity among the member states.
The Prime Minister said no other project better symbolizes Pakistan’s conception of win-win cooperation through connectivity than China-Pakistan Economic Corridor. It is now being recognized as a catalyst for energy, infrastructure, transport, connectivity and trade in the whole of South and Central Asia.
Earlier, the member countries unanimously elected Prime Minister Nawaz Sahrif as chairman of ECO.