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The fifteenth ECO summit was held in Ashgabat on Sunday

29.11.2021 131 просмотров

Participants of the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) summit in Ashgabat signed a final document on strengthening cooperation.

The fifteenth summit of the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) was held on Sunday in Ashgabat under the chairmanship of the President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov. The event was held in person, the parties signed the final document - the Ashgabat Consensus for Action.

In particular, the parties intend to intensify the process of starting negotiations on the creation of a free trade zone in the space of the organization, as well as develop roadmaps for the development of industrial cooperation.

Effective platform for cooperation

The organization includes Azerbaijan, Afghanistan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Turkey and Uzbekistan. In 2021, it will be chaired by Turkmenistan, following the results of the summit, the chairmanship for the next year passed to Uzbekistan. The event was attended by the presidents and heads of government of the countries of the organization.

“Speaking at the summit, the President of Turkmenistan announced the priority areas of cooperation within the framework of the country's chairmanship in the organization and stressed that the Turkmen side rightfully considers holding this forum as an important event , designed to strengthen cooperation between the participating countries in the economic, trade, investment, cultural and humanitarian spheres,” the Turkmen Foreign Ministry said on its website.

According to the agency, the heads of state and government of the participating countries spoke during the forum emphasized that the current summit has become an effective platform where decisions were made on topical and key aspects of regional economic cooperation in the ECO space.

economic growth of member countries, and that also expanding effective mutual cooperation in the field of trade, industry, transport and communications, agriculture, energy, healthcare, education, science and culture,” the ministry said in a statement.

Consensus for action

The document adopted at the end of the summit, which is published on the website of the President of Kyrgyzstan, states, in particular, that the parties recognize the importance of "regional cooperation, integration and transport connectivity as a vital way to accelerate economic and social progress, development and stability in the region.”

The summit participants agreed to accelerate the pace of cooperation, especially in the areas of trade, transport, energy and tourism, as well as in the fight with the spread of the coronavirus and the consequences of the pandemic. Separately, the need to simplify procedures in trade and investment areas, as well as to increase the level of intra-regional trade and "increase the contribution of the region to global trade as a whole by using the trade potential of the ECO region to achieve sustainable economic growth" is noted.

Also, the parties intend to instruct relevant departments to expedite the removal of barriers, including those related to the coronavirus pandemic, “in order to launch trade negotiations with the participation of member states leading to the creation of an ECO Free Trade Area.” The importance of industrial cooperation based on the principle of complementarity of the economies of the member states of the organization is also noted, it is planned to develop a joint roadmap that includes specific areas and projects.

The document emphasizes the intention to consider expanding the network of transport corridors, as well as to continue cooperation « in the creation and functioning of information structures in order to overcome the digital divide in the region”. In addition, the parties intend to strengthen cooperation with other international organizations in the digitalization of transport, customs and border procedures. The summit participants agreed to "work closely in areas such as e-government, digital economy, artificial intelligence, telecommunications and inter-operator interaction."

A number of decisions were made to combat the consequences of the pandemic, in particular, the parties agreed to intensify work on the creation and implementation of a health care system to monitor the epidemic situation, as well as to instruct the ministers of tourism to take urgent measures to solve the serious problems of this industry.

The document focuses on environmental issues, food security, energy cooperation, and countering drug trafficking. In addition, the parties reaffirmed the desire "for a secure, prosperous and peaceful Afghanistan" and the need to provide humanitarian assistance to its inhabitants.

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