Tajikistan will assume the rotating ECO presidency in 2018

Tajikistan Materials 15 December 2017 17:36 (UTC +04:00)

The 28th meeting of the Regional Planning Council (RPC) of the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) took place in the Pakistan capital, Islamabad, from December 11 to December 14, ASIA-Plus reports.

According to the Tajik MFA information department, Tajikistan was represented at the meeting by First Deputy Foreign Minister, Nizomiddin Zohidi.

Speaking at the meeting, Zohidi reportedly pointed out priorities of cooperation of Tajikistan with the ECO and ways of expansion of cooperation with this Organization.

On Tajikistan’s rotating chairmanship in the ECO, Tajik official called on ECO member nations to take an active part in a session of the ECO Council of Foreign Ministers that will take place in Dushanbe in April next year.

The meeting reportedly deliberated on the progress made since the 13th ECO Summit held in Islamabad on March 1, 2017.

The meeting also discussed the developments of ECO since its expansion and exchanged views on the possible reforms needed for keeping pace with the evolving requirements of regional cooperation.

According to the Associated Press of Pakistan, the meeting agreed to make an action plan to enhance the regional connectivity by materializing the Islamabad-Tehran-Istanbul and Tajikistan corridor and establishing the trade facilitation centers.

The RPC of ECO is comprises of the heads of planning organizations of member states and meets at-least once a year prior to the annual meeting of the Council of Ministers. The meeting was discuss of basic strategies, policies and plans in accordance with the objectives and principles of regional cooperation laid down in the Treaty of Izmir, as well as policy guidelines of the Council of Ministers, said a press release received from FO.

The Economic Cooperation Organization or ECO is a Eurasian political and economic intergovernmental organization which was founded in 1985 in Tehran by the leaders of Iran, Pakistan and Turkey. It provides a platform to discuss ways to improve development and promote trade and investment opportunities. The ECO is an ad hoc organization under the United Nations Charter (Chap. VIII). The objective is to establish a single market for goods and services, much like the European Union. ECO's secretariat and cultural department are located in Iran, its economic bureau is in Turkey and its scientific bureau is situated in Pakistan.

The nature of ECO is that it consists of predominantly Muslim-majority states as it is a trading bloc for the Central Asian states connected to the Mediterranean through Turkey, to the Persian Gulf via Iran, and to the Arabian Sea via Pakistan. The current framework of ECO expresses itself mostly in the form of bilateral agreements and arbitration mechanisms between individual and fully sovereign member states.