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PM suggests ‘taking full advantage of political relations’ to ECO members

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan opened Thursday the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) summit as he virtually addressed member countries on taking full advantage of geographical location, economic assets, and the political relationships for achieving the common goals and priorities, ARY News reported.

In the opening remarks the PM made at the 14th ECO summit, as the chair of the preceding summit and relaying it to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, he said regional connectivity and integration have been instrumental for development.

PM Khan presented to the summit his plan for securing the shared objectives of ECO saying we need robust recovery from the economic and health crises brought by the pandemic.

We must adopt a plan to build resilient health care systems to respond to such crises in the future as well, he noted.

The PM added the member countries must develop an integrated transport network to facilitate both intra-ECO trade and serve as a pathway for trade between major Eastern and Western economies, and that of North and South.

He said Istanbul-Tehran-Islamabad commercial cargo train and proposed Uzbekistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan railway links are important regional connectivity projects. In addition, linking CPEC with Afghanistan and beyond is vital.

The Prime Minister also laid to the summit other cross border projects already agreed under the ECO members, including TAPI gas pipeline and the CASA-1000, establishing an ECO investment agency and organizing an annual ECO investment fair.

Imran Khan said our mutual trade which is just eight percent of our total trade could be expanded ten-fold.

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