On March 4, the President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev attended the 14th online summit of the Organization for Economic Cooperation.
The Summit, chaired by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, was attended by the President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev, President of Afghanistan Ashraf Ghani, President of Iran Hassan Rouhani, President of Kazakhstan Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, President of Kyrgyzstan Sadyr Japarov, President of Tajikistan Emomali Rahmon, President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan, as well as Secretary General of the OEC Hadi Soleimanpur, the heads of regional structures.
In accordance with the agenda, the parties considered topical issues of expanding cooperation between the member states in the post-pandemic period.
“In his remarks, Shavkat Mirziyoyev emphasized that the space of the Economic Cooperation Organization is a region with great potential with a common history, religion, culture and values. He underscored that in a pandemic, the strengths and weaknesses of the economies of our countries were clearly manifested. This challenge demonstrated the obvious interconnectivity and the need for further advancing trade and economic ties in the region. At the same time, the existing potential and wide opportunities of the ECO member states are not fully tapped,” he noted.
In order to develop multilateral partnership within the framework of the adopted program of action until 2025, the President of Uzbekistan put forward a number of important initiatives.
In order to boost trade and investments, he underscored the expediency of removing trade and transport barriers and restrictions introduced as part of lockdown measures and proposed implementation of solutions for the digitalization of trade and the development of e-commerce, as well as the early adoption of a regional trade agreement.
Another important area is the deepening of industrial cooperation between the leading enterprises of the parties on the basis of an agreed road map. In order to promote such projects, he proposed to expand the mechanisms of financial cooperation and hold a regional forum with the participation of leading banking institutions of the countries.
He stated that Uzbekistan is interested in the development of transport corridors: Uzbekistan - Turkmenistan - Iran - Oman and Uzbekistan - Kyrgyzstan - China, routes in towards Turkey and European countries and emphasized the importance of the construction of the new Mazar-i-Sharif-Kabul-Peshawar railway to ensure sustainable development, as well as the integration of Afghanistan into regional economic processes.
Another important area, on which the head of state touched upon separately, is ensuring food security.
In this regard, he suggested, together with the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, to prepare an appropriate program and present it at the next meeting of the ministers of agriculture of the ECO states, which is scheduled for this year in Uzbekistan.
In the energy sector, the Uzbek leader called for the development and adoption of a medium-term strategy in order to widely attract advanced technological solutions and investments, primarily in renewable energy.
He drew attention to the importance of joining efforts in combating the global consequences of climate change, as well as the need to strengthen cooperation in the health sector, including for monitoring and promptly responding to modern challenges and threats.
President Shavkat Mirziyoyev thanked President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan for the effective chairmanship of Turkey in the organization, congratulated and wished President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov success in connection with the transfer of chairmanship to Turkmenistan.