Minister: (Pakistan committed to fulfillment of vision of ECO: Bakhtiyar)

ISLAMABAD:Minister for Planning, Development and Reforms Khusro Bakhtiyar has said that the ECO Countries should focus on connectivity projects in order to promote trade and investment relations.

Addressing a seminar on “ECO; Achievements and Challenges” here on Friday, he said Pakistan is fully committed to fulfillment of vision of Economic Cooperation Organization.

He said unfortunately South Asia Association for Regional Cooperation which provides another platform for connectivity has been held hostage due to belligerent attitude of Indian government. He said Pakistan focuses to provide connectivity to the region through CPEC.

He said Pakistan’s geo-strategic position leverages itself for hub of regional connectivity and China Pakistan Economic Corridor gives an immense opportunity in this regard.

The Minister said political reconciliation in Afghanistan will enable to harness the true potential of ECO.

He said in order to undertake massive projects ECO Bank’s mandate should also be to finance inter-regional projects. He said it also needs to enter into partnership with Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and Asian Development Bank to finance such projects.

Speaking on the occasion, Secretary General Economic Cooperation Organization Dr Hadi Soleimanpour said idea of regional integration is growing these days and Prime Minister Imran Khan is focusing on regional issues and integration of region.

He said other member countries like Iran, Turkey, Azerbaijan and Uzbekistan are also looking for regional connectivity. He said Islamabad-Tehran-Istanbul train has importance in ECO and it may be considered as part of CPEC.