17th February, 2018, Mr. Ghazanfar Bilour, President of the Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) and ECO Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ECO-CCI) will preside the forthcoming statutory meeting of ECO-CCI scheduled to be held on March 5, 2018 at Tehran, Iran.
ECO CCI is a flagship organization of Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) which was established in 1990 and all the National Chamber of Commerce & Industry are members. The meetings will be attended by the representatives of Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Iran, Pakistan, Turkey, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. Prior to the statutory meetings, there will be six Specialized Committees Meetings on Trade facilitation, Transportation, Tourism, Arbitration, Industry, Investment and SMEs Promotion and Women Entrepreneurs Council on March 3 & 4, 2018.
At present, the total trade of all ECO members countries stood at US$ 638 billions which has registered a declining trend compared to US$ 836 billions in 2012 and the reason behind the declining of trade is global recession and low oil prices on which this natural resources heavily depend. The contribution of ECO region in world trade is just two percent despite the fact that ECO has 6.2 percent of world population. Intra-regional trade accounts 8.4 percent of total trade of world which is far below the potentials available.
The Executive Committee and General Assembly will review lower intra-regional trade and investment, removal of trade barriers, harmonization in trade and investment regulations, SMEs, arbitration and gradual integration of the member state’s economies, development of transport and communication, effective infrastructure linking in the region. Pakistan will handover Presidentship of ECO-CCI for the year 2018-19 to Afghanistan as per the statute of ECO-CCI.
Dr. Iqbal Thaheem