ICCI President for close cooperation in trade and energy with eco countries to strengthen the economy

  • April 06, 2009
Regional cooperation is now considered as an essential mechanism to accelerate economic and social progress, development and stability in the region while Pakistan has plenty of opportunities to strengthen its economy by developing close cooperation with ECO countries in trade and energy which comprise Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. This was stated by Mian Shaukat Masud, President, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry in a statement. He said many regional blocks in the world have established free trade areas to develop their economies and Pakistan should step up its efforts with ECO countries for establishing a free trade area in ECO region to promote regional trade.

ICCI President said ECO members’ international trade in 2007 surpassed $570 billion which shows their huge trade potential, whereas trade among the members in the same year was nearly $33 billion which calls for enhancing cooperation to promote regional trade up to its full potential. He said connectivity of Pakistan with ECO member countries through rail, road and sea links can greatly enhance our volume of trade with these countries opening new vistas of economic opportunities for Pakistan as well. He said improving our trade with ECO countries can contribute positively to our overall economic development by liberalizing trade, modernizing/expanding export-oriented industries, up-grading product standards and quality, value addition and diversification.

Mian Shaukat Masud said Pakistan is an energy deficient country and it can easily meet its energy requirements by promoting energy cooperation with ECO countries. He said ECO region is estimated to contain a third of the global energy resources. Crude oil production is 6019 thousand barrels per day or 7.4 percent of the world total. Natural gas production is 9 trillion cubic feet or 9.2 percent of the global production while the region has the potential to produce enormous hydro-electric power. Thus our cooperation with ECO countries in energy, trade and commerce activities will lead to economic prosperity, regional cooperation and above all smooth and easy availability of energy resources for Pakistan, he concluded.