Azerbaijan, Baku, Dec.20 / Trend, T.Jafarov, A.Badalova /
The Economic Cooperation Organization's Secretariat has attached highest importance to Azerbaijan's active involvement in the ECO initiatives in trade and investment, ECO Secretary General Mohammed Yahya Maroofi said in an interview with Trend.
"The Republic of Azerbaijan is the 5th largest trading partner in the ECO grouping. We have particularly, recommended Azerbaijan to join ECO Trade Agreement (ECOTA), so that the country could be in the forefronts of regional trade integration," Maroofi said.
According to Maroofi, Azerbaijan is in a good position to lead the region in areas of customs cooperation.
It will certainly be in the interest of region if Azerbaijan could also consider joining ECO Trade and Development Bank and the ECO Reinsurance Company, he said. In this regard the organization has already forwarded our recommendation the Azeri authorities.
"The Secretariat has also offered all support and assistance to facilitate accession of Azerbaijan to WTO," Maroofi said.
ECO was founded in 1985 by Iran, Pakistan and Turkey. Today the organization also includes Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan.
Dec.23 Istanbul will host the 11th Summit of heads of states and governments of the organization. Before the meeting a meeting of senior officials at the high level, as well as a meeting of the Council of Ministers of ECO member states will be held in Istanbul.
According to Maroofi, the forthcoming 11th Summit will be a fitting forum to take stock of the progress made by ECO in achieving its goals and objectives in broad range of activities including Trade, Transport, Energy, Agriculture, Environment, Drugs Control, Human Resources Development and many others which are of concern to the ECO
"I am confident that the guidance and the decisions of the upcoming Summit meting will play a crucial role in forging ahead regional integration to achieve overarching goal of socio economic development in the region," he said.