The 14th ECO Summit
The Republic of Turkey organized the 14th ECO Summit virtually on March 4, 2021 under the chairmanship of H.E. Mr. Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, the honourable President of the Republic of Turkey. The event, convened under the theme of ‘Regional Economic Cooperation in the aftermath of COVID-19, was inaugurated by H.E. Mr. Imran Khan, the honourable Prime Minister of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. All the ten ECO Heads of States and the ECO Secretary General, as well as the ECO Observers, including the President of Turkish Cypriot State, Secretaries General of the Turkic Council and International Energy Charter were present in the Summit.
H.E. President Erdoğan, while acknowledging the significance of ECO for regional development, emphasized on the early implementation of ECO Trade Agreement (ECOTA) and other progressive initiatives aimed at pushing the process of development in the region. He noted that the COVID-19 pandemic gravely damaged the global economy and trade, straining on the existing healthcare system. President Erdoğan said: “we can only win the fight against this global debacle through strong solidarity, regional and international cooperation.” He underscored that during Turkey’s Chairmanship of the Organization, the country had remained focussed on consolidating the organization and advancing regional cooperation. He felicitated H.E. Mr. Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, the honourable President of Turkmenistan for assuming the chairmanship of the ECO for 2021, extending his best wishes for the country’s success as new ECO Chair.
The honorable President of Turkmenistan, H.E. Mr. Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, expressing thanks for the assigned responsibility, assured of his country’s complete support to secure the organization’s overall aims and objectives. Voicing the priority vectors of cooperation within the framework of Turkmenistan’s chairmanship of the ECO, he underlined his country’s intention to promote the organization’s work, focussing on the development of economic, cultural and humanitarian ties. He added that unfolding of the trade, transit-transport, energy, industrial and communication potential of the ECO would remain in the center of Turkmenistan’s strategy during their chairmanship of the Organization. President Berdimuhamedov considered the establishment of economic corridors as a system of sustainable routes for the movement of goods, services, investment and industrial cooperation as well as energy corridors for diversification of energy resources supplies in the region, as Turkmenistan’s key mission, with participation of Member States. He underscored that the essence of cooperation amongst ECO Member States was the geographical and historical ties, shared traditions, customs and values.
The ECO Secretary General, H.E. Dr. Hadi Soleimanpour briefed on the ECO’s recent developments made in the organization’s priority areas of cooperation, including trade & investment, transit-transport, energy, tourism as well as activities and engagements for enhanced economic connectivity in the region. He also illuminated the finalization of latest reform process to enhance the sense of owner/partner-ship amongst all Member States, as well as ECO’s fresh approach for making the organization more project and result-oriented. He recommended some special initiatives for stimulating the intra-regional developmental activities that underwent in the aftermath of COVID-19. The Secretary General reaffirmed ECO’s determination and support to shoulder the process of development and reconstruction in Afghanistan.
The Heads of ECO Member States commended the valuable contributions of Dr. Soleimanpour made for accelerating the realization of the organization’s agenda. Noting the impacts of COVID-19 pandemic, they highlighted the key aspects of their countries’ response to the crisis and emphasised on an enhanced collaboration amongst the Member States to mutually address the pandemic’s affects as well as joint strategy for developing the region’s healthcare system. The ECO Heads of States/Governments extended felicitations to H.E President Berdimuhamedov for Turkmenistan’s assumption of responsibilities as the new ECO Chair. In the concluding moments of the Summit, a ceremony was organized in Baku for signing the Charter of the ECO Research Centre.
The 15th ECO Summit would be held on November 28, 2021 in Turkmenistan.