“Let’s end protectionism and open the way for trade”
03.03.2017 / İslamabad / Pakistan - Speaking at the meeting of ECO-CCI members Turkey, Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Pakistan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan, TOBB President and ECO - CCI Board Member M. Rifat Hisarcıklıoğlu emphasized need for cooperation in the region. Hisarcıklıoğlu urged abolishing protectionist policies of ECO countries; that visas be lifted; ECOTA and arbitration are put into practice; transportation is made safe and fast.
The Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey (TOBB) President and Economic Cooperation Organization Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ECO-CCI) Board Member M. Rifat Hisarcıklıoğlu urged ECO countries to increase cooperation, abolish protectionist policies and lift visas, put ECOTA agreement and arbitration into practice. He stated that the means of transportation should be made transparent, safe and fast.
ECO-CCI's 22nd Executive Committee meeting was held in Islamabad, Pakistan's capital with the attendances of its members - Turkey, Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Pakistan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan. TOBB President and ECO - CCI Board Member M. Rifat Hisarcıklıoğlu attended the meeting in addition to Pakistan Trade Minister Khurram Dastgir Khan, President of ECO Chamber of Commerce and Industry and President of Pakistan Chamber of Commerce and Industry Zubair Tufail, Iranian Trade Industries Mines and Agriculture Chamber President Gholamhossein Shafei, ECO Secretary General Halil İbrahim Akça, TOBB Board Member Selçuk Öztürk, Marmaris Chamber of Commerce Chair Mehmet Baysal, Çorum Commodity Exchange Chair Ali Bektaş and TOBB Women Entrepreneurs Board Deputy Chair Ruhsar Pekcan.
Hisarcıklıoğlu stated that increasing cooperation within the ECO region is not a development tool but a necessity. Hisarcıklıoğlu said, “The global system is undergoing a very different time. The codes of global economy and politics are changing completely. Almost all economic and political developments affecting the world are shaped around the ECO geography. This is both a risk and an opportunity for us. We must read the process well and prepare well.”
TOBB President and ECO - CCI Board Member Hisarcıklıoğlu noted that 15% of world oil reserves and 24% of natural gas reserves are located in the ECO region; all energy corridors between Asia and Europe; all trade corridors pass through this region. Hisarcıklıoğlu stated that the region has great advantages and that it is necessary to increase trade by utilizing these advantages.
- ECOTA, visas, arbitration and transportation
Pointing out that there are 4 important issues in front of them, Hisarcıklıoğlu stated that the first important issue is the ECOTA agreement. Hisarcıklıoğlu, urging for ECOTA to enter into effect, expressed that protectionist policies would not increase prosperity, but would, quite to the contrary, decrease it.
Hisarcıklıoğlu pointed out the visa issue as the second important matter, “We should not forget the three step rule of economy. Visit, trade, then invest. People will trade with the countries they are most comfortable with entering and leaving, not with the countries they face difficulties in. We want visas to be lifted.” Expressing that the third important issue is arbitration, Hisarcıklıoğlu said, “The issue of arbitration is very important in increasing trade and investments, as investors and traders want predictability before everything else.”
Regarding this issue, President of TOBB and Member of ECO-CCI Board of Directors M. Rifat Hisarcıklıoğlu said that, “If we make our trade routes transparent, safe and fast, we will increase our own trade and become the center of trade between Asia and Europe.”
Hisarcıklıoğlu pointed out the importance of customs clearance to be fast, transparent and standardized; reminding that they want all ECO countries to benefit from TOBB’s extensive experience in this field.