Tehran, Nov 26,– President Hassan Rouhani said on Tuesday that the ECO sets a new pattern of regional cooperation.
Addressing the ECO meeting, President Rouhani said that considerable progress has been observed in the fields of trade, energy, industry, agriculture, mining, environment protection, banking, science and technology, private sector cooperation, culture and education, especially transport and shipping industry thanks to cooperation of the member states.
He made it clear that the current level of of cooperation is not enough and that the member states are expected to utilize the extensive capacities for the welfare and social service advances.
The historical record and Silk Road testify the path ahead, he added.
He said that cooperation in the context of regional organizations with respect to the current situation of the world economy and the financial crisis over the past several years can provide a safe way for convergence of the ECO member states and steer clear of the international economic slowdown.
The Economic Cooperation Organization is among the powerful organizations worldwide that has a rosy picture in the future compared to other regional organizations worldwide due to population of 450 million, more than seven million square kilometers wide territories, rich mining, oil and gas resources, the geo-strategic situation and the north-south corridor, he said.
The president said speaking from statistical point of view, the ECO members have an aggregate trade more than 817 billion dollars in 2012 with the outside world.
President Rouhani said that 10.3 percent of the aggregate trade or $83 billion makes up for the inter-regional trade alone.
He said the ECO in 2011 won a share of about $41 billion out of $1.5 trillion direct foreign investment, being 2.7 percent of the world figure.
The president said more than two decades of cooperation and engagement within ECO sets a guideline and in the third decade ˈwe should have an organization being capable of enhancing level of capacity for cooperation to the highest possible.