Prime Minister Imran Khan will open the 14th Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) Summit today (March 4) in his capacity as chair of Pakistan, having presided over the 13th summit last year. The summit will take place entirely online.
The 14th Summit, titled “Regional Economic Cooperation in the Aftermath of COVID-19,” will be chaired by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
While announcing the summit, the Foreign Office said, “Pakistan has been actively contributing towards advancement of the goals and objectives of the ECO, including regional economic integration.”
Khan will present Pakistan’s perspective on COVID-19 issues, as well as his vision for regional economic growth based on ECO’s founding principles of trade and connectivity.
Along with Iran and Turkey, Pakistan is a founding member of the ECO. The former Regional Cooperation for Development was renamed the Organization in 1985. (RCD). Later, Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan joined the ECO. Pakistan is a founding member of the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO), which seeks to promote successful regional cooperation with an emphasis on communications, commerce, culture, and connectivity.
“The Summit is the ECO’s highest forum, with ten members. The summit meetings will include an exchange of views on regional and global issues of concern to the ECO region, as well as a summary of progress on ECO programmes and projects, according to the Foreign Office.
The fifth virtual meeting on Economic Diplomacy was held earlier at the Foreign Office as part of the government’s economic outreach initiative. Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi presided over the conference, which centred on Europe. The meeting was attended by Pakistan’s envoys to France, Italy, Norway, Poland, Romania, and Russia.
“The foreign minister emphasised ‘Economic Diplomacy’ as an important part of modern diplomatic practise, highlighting the growing role of geo-economics in international relations. According to the release, he noted that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and its missions abroad were at the forefront of safeguarding and advancing Pakistan’s economic interests, in line with Prime Minister Imran Khan’s vision.
They were instrumental in the successful implementation of a number of initiatives, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “Global Initiative on Debt Relief” for developing countries, the Prime Minister’s Economic Outreach Initiative (EOI), and the Roshan Digital Account.
Foreign Minister Qureshi urged envoys to develop and expand mutually beneficial trade and economic relations with European countries, with an emphasis on trade promotion, financial inflows, investments, remittances, tourism, and technology transfer as main objectives.
The foreign minister emphasized the importance of consolidating and extending Pakistan’s economic outreach to Europe, emphasizing the need to diversify exports to EU countries in order to fully utilize the benefits of the GSP Plus status. He also emphasized the importance of engaging constructively with European parliamentarians and the EU Parliament in order to maximize opportunities for economic outreach and cooperation.
The foreign minister praised the increased inflow of European investment into Pakistan and urged the missions to communicate with their interlocutors in a constructive manner to promote the country’s investment potential. Pakistan’s remarkable increase in the Ease of Doing Business rating was highlighted by the foreign minister, who emphasized the government’s continued efforts in this regard. Pakistan also ranked sixth among the world’s top ten business climate improvers.
Foreign Minister Qureshi directed the envoys to find and resolve bottlenecks in economic cooperation with host countries. The envoys were also asked to identify areas where Pakistan’s economic footprint in Europe could be expanded.
During the virtual meeting, Pakistani envoys informed the foreign minister of their economic and commercial activities and programmes. They discussed ways to reinforce existing relations and forge new ones in order to boost Pakistan’s economic footprint in Europe.
Foreign Minister Qureshi has consistently emphasized the promotion of international diplomacy and enhanced economic cooperation with partner countries, in line with Prime Minister Imran Khan’s vision. These efforts include regular virtual meetings and exchanges on economic diplomacy with Pakistani envoys in key capitals.