The 2nd meeting of the ECO Ministers for Finance and Economy was held in Antalya, the Republic of Turkey, on 6th April 2007. It was preceded by the Senior Officials Meeting (SOM) on 5th April 2007. The meetings, hosted by the Republic of Turkey, were chaired by Mr. Kemal Unakitan, the Minister for Finance of the Republic of Turkey and Dr. Ahmet Tiktik, Undersecretary for Planning of the Republic of Turkey, respectively.
In his inaugural speech, the Finance Minister stressed the need for cooperation in the fields of finance and economy for a sustainable economic growth and development in the ECO region. He called for full operationalization of ECO Trade and Development Bank, early establishment of ECO Reinsurance Company and rapid progress on the ECO Trade Agreement (ECOTA) as well as the Agreement on Promotion and Protection of Investment (APPI). The Minister expressed the hope that the meeting would be a major step forward in the promotion of economic and trade relations among the ECO member states.
The ECO Secretary General, Mr. Khurshid Anwar, underlined the importance of the meeting for achieving the aims and objectives of ECO. He emphasized the significance of cooperation in the fields of banking and taxation, macroeconomic management, corporate law and stock exchanges. He expressed the hope that operationalization of ECO Trade and Development Bank this year would add a new constructive dimension to ECO activities. He noted with appreciation that the first meeting of the Heads of ECO Central Banks would be held in Pakistan later this month and would bring the member states closer in the field of banking. The Secretary General called for early implementation of all ECO Agreements, particularly ECO Trade Agreement (ECOTA) and the Agreement on Promotion and Protection of Investment (APPI).
The ECO Senior Officials deliberated on a wide range of subjects. These included the establishment of joint financial institutions, exchange of experiences/information regarding investment and privatization, prospects for a better investment climate among the member states, cooperation in the fight against corruption and money laundering, free movement of capital and cooperation in the field of taxation. The Senior Officials Meeting prepared a report for the Ministerial Meeting containing proposals for closer cooperation in different fields of finance and economy.
The Finance Ministers endorsed the report of the Senior Officials and adopted a 20-point Antalya Communique. In the Communique, the member states stressed the need for active cooperation in key areas of economy and finance, trade and investment, customs and the fight against corruption and money laundering. They also agreed to intensify cooperation in achieving the aims and objectives of ECO in related areas.