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PR No. 99 Islamabad: March 14, 2019

President Dr. Arif Alvi has said that ECO region has the potential and capacity to function as a bridge between North and South, Europe and Asia. He added that there is a need to further strengthen transport and communication infrastructure, facilitate trade and investment and identify important sectoral priorities of the ECO for development and growth in the region. The President said this while talking to Secretary General, Economic Cooperation Organization Dr. Hadi Soleimanpour, who called on him in Islamabad on Thursday. The President emphasized that ECO Vision 2025 would serve as a roadmap for the Organization. He further said that we are undertaking necessary steps to meet the timelines mentioned in the Implementation Framework of the Vision 2025. He underscored that Pakistan believes robust implementation of ECO Trade Agreements would be a step towards minimizing barriers to trade and ultimately establishing a Free Trade Area as enshrined in ECO Vision 2025. He stated that Pakistan is upgrading its rail and road infrastructure in order to facilitate smooth flow of goods to its neighbours and to galvanize trade opportunities within the ECO region. The President highlighted that Pakistan will continue to contribute to ECO’s efforts to provide assistance to Afghanistan and is presently the highest donor to ECO’s initiative for reconstruction of Afghanistan. Secretary General, Economic Cooperation Organization Dr. Hadi Soleimanpour said that Pakistan has always been an active member of ECO and cornerstone of peace and cooperation in the region. He further stated that there is a huge potential of ecotourism in Pakistan which can be a huge attraction for the international tourists.

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