The Meeting of United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE)
The Meeting of United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) on the subject of the special program of United Nations for Central Asian economies (SPECA) inaugurated in Geneva with the statement of UNECE Executive Secretary and ECO Secretary General. H. E. Seyed Mojtaba Arastou, ECO Secretary General, in his statement while referring to the difficulties as a matter of national and ultra national structure of the ECO Member States in order to get to Sustainable Human Development, expressed the aims and achievements of the Organization. He referred to the issue of “Trade expansion among the Member States” as one of the most important goals of the Organization and stated that ECOTA intends to reduce the tariffs and gradually remove the non-tariff barriers. Mr. Arastou referred to the great role of the trade community, particularly the private sector. He recognized it as the engine of the economic development in the ECO region and added that the active role playing as such would be dependant on the transparency of the trade atmosphere in the region, as well as expansion of required infrastructures to exploit the opportunities enhanced. Stressing on the outcomes of the joint ECO-ITC project, attached great importance to the continuous interaction of the two organizations regarding Buyers/Sellers meetings on priority areas of ECO region and stated that interaction of the private sector in this regard would be of great effect. Mr. Arastou added that standardization of the rules; customs facilitation and the removal of the obstacles on the way of trade are among the items to consider in order optimizing such meetings.
Mr. Arastou hoped that in the near future the Trade Guide in the ECO region would be published and so the trade would be duly facilitated through the relevant bodies such as ECO Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ECO-CCI).
ECO Secretary General emphasized on the role of information in trade and investment development and referred to the Internet Network of Trade in the ECO region. He said that the success of such Network would be depending on the updated information on the national and regional information on the net. Mr. Arastou added that encouraging the investment among the Member States and attracting foreign investment to the region are among the aims of the organization. In this line ECO held its first meeting on investment in ECO region, in Kish-Iran and the joint ECO-UNDP project to outline the investment policy is going on. He added that the second Meeting of such is going to be held in Kabul in near future. Mr. Arastou also referred to the other activities of the organization to expand the Trade and Investment in the region, such as establishment of Chamber of Commerce and Industry, finalizing the ECO Trade and Development Bank that is ratified by Iran, Turkey and Pakistan, as well as expansion of cooperation with international organizations such as United Nations. He stressed on the signing MOU between ECO and UNECE. He added that there are common fields of activity in the two organizations so it should be taken note that the interaction of the two organization should be in a way that the optimum cooperation is achieved. The MOU is recently signed in Geneva.