I have the pleasure to convey to Your Excellency my sincere congratulations on the occasion of the ECO Day.
I firmly believe that ECO has a great potential with its vast natural and human resources in the region. Moreover ECO, as a significant regional organization, is capable of playing a more active role for a fairer and more liberal trade relations in its region.
Turkey, being one of the founding members, attaches great importance to the cooperation among the members of ECO and remains committed to the goals and objectives of the Organization stipulated in the Treaty of Izmir.
I gladly observe that ECO has made considerable progress during the past thirteen years and has become a reliable platform for our joint economic and social endeavours in the region. Nevertheless, we should continue to intensify our cooperation in many areas in order to fully benefit from the enormous potential of the ECO Region.
In this regard, I would like to underline the importance of the priority areas of the ECO, namely trade, transport and energy, all of which will greatly contribute to the development of national economies and help their integration into the global economy. In this context, Turkey fully supports the liberalization of trade among the Member States and the efforts towards the gradual elimination of non-tariff barriers which will increase the volume of trade in the region. Consequently we are ready for the early implementation of the ECO Trade Agreement. We also welcome the completion of ratification process of ECO Trade and Development Bank, another crucial instrument of ECO, and look forward to the establishment and operationalization of the Bank as soon as possible.
Availing myself of this opportunity I would like to express our gratitude to the Eminent Persons Group for their recommendations and ECO Vision-2015 document. We fully support them, and are convinced that they will enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of our organization by bringing in a new dynamism.
Please accept, Excellency, the assurances of my highest consideration.
Deputy Prime Minister and
Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Turkey