The First ECO Experts Group Meeting (EGM)
for preparation of ECO Regional Strategy on Industry
23 September 2004
The First ECO Experts Group Meeting (EGM) for preparation of ECO Regional Strategy on Industry, hosted by the Republic of Turkey, was held from 21 to 23 September 2004 in Ankara. The delegations from the Transitional Islamic State of Afghanistan, Islamic Republic of Iran, Kyrgyz Republic, Islamic Republic of Pakistan, Republic of Tajikistan, Republic of Turkey, Republic of Uzbekistan and officials of ECO Secretariat and representative of United Nations Industrial Development Organization UNIDO participated in the meeting.
Experts Group has considered the draft ECO Regional Strategy on Industrial Cooperation prepared by Republic of Turkey. Main objectives of the strategy are to fully exploit industrial potentials in the region, to increase the share of the ECO region in global trade through enhancing competitiveness and to develop necessary mechanisms to generate regional synergy among public and private sector institutions of member countries.
The participants identified some areas/objectives to be addressed while preparing the regional strategy for industrial cooperation such as development of SMEs, increase in industrial base, closer ECO integration, development of transport communications, administrative and financial infrastructures, gradual elimination of tariff and non tariff barriers and promotion of foreign direct investment in the ECO member countries.
The Strategy considered by the experts envisages activities related to improvement investment environment, development private sector, increasing mobility capability of products, enhancement of sharing of knowledge, emphasis on representation of industry stakeholders, development of SMEs, Development of institutionalization and standardization etc.
The Meeting also agreed to carry out detailed studies in selected sub-sectors to shed further light on the potentials and needs of the member countries and the region as a whole. Selected sub-sectors are automotive and automotive parts, transportation, chemicals and petrochemicals, mining and metallurgical, textile, leather and clothing, agriculture and food, electronic and home appliances. The Group also selected coordinator and responsible member countries for preparation of studies in all these sub-sectors.
The Draft Strategy will be finalized during the Second Experts Group Meeting (EGM) scheduled to be held in March 2005 in Islamabad, Pakistan and will be submitted to the Second Ministerial Meeting on Industry to be held in third quarter of 2005 in Istanbul, Turkey for approval.