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Pakistan PM Welcomes ECO’s outreach to Central Asian countries

AT

Kabul: The Pakistani Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif in a meeting with the president of the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO), Yalçın Yüksel, welcomed the prospect of the ECO’s extension to the landlocked Central Asian countries for exploring wider economic and trade dividends.

Sharif also suggested hosting an ECO member countries’ summit to further push economic activities and regional cooperation.

He considered regional connectivity with central Asian countries a “game changer” and added that the Gwadar port would serve as a hub for transporting gas to the world.

He said rail and road connectivity would shape the regional landscape by allowing countries with rich natural gas resources to export it to the world.

Meanwhile, the Afghan Ministry of Economy (MoE) said that the ECO can play an important role in the economic development in Afghanistan as well. 

“Our expectation is to see ECO be more active, so it can promote the regional economy and play its role in the region,” Tolo News quoted Abdul Latif Nazari, the deputy Minister of Economy.  

The Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Investment (ACCI) said that the ECO includes 10 countries and that it could be very effective in economic development in the region. 

“We are a member of the Chamber of Commerce of the ECO. Afghanistan had the chairmanship of the ECO about two years ago. And currently Iran has the chairmanship of the ECO,” said Khanjan Alokozai, a member of the ACCI. 

Pakistan, Iran and Turkey are the main members of the ECO. In 1992, Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan joined this organization.

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