In my congratulatory message to Turkmenistan President H.E. Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov and people of Turkmenistan, It is gratifying that December 12 has been adopted by the United Nations General Assembly as the International Neutrality Day on Turkmenistan’s initiative and now it is 25th Year!.
As ECO CCI, we are happy that Turkmenistan is taking serious, practical steps within the framework of neutrality policy in order to consolidate peace, stability and sustainable development in the region.
ECO CCI activities is a clear indication of their commitment to play a vibrant role for achieving the relevant objectives enshrined in Treaty of Izmir, ECO Vision-2025 and the ECO Summit Meetings.
The private sector has been considered as the engine of economic growth at national, regional and global levels. Trade, investment, financing as well as regional production chains are the major driving factors in sustainable economic growth. For this reason, successful business drive through increased trade and investment to achieve growth, create jobs and increases tax revenue to further finance investment and support production chains. In developing countries, the private sector generates almost 90 per cent of the jobs, funds almost 60 per cent of all investments and provides more than 80 per cent of government revenues. Private companies are providing an ever-increasing share of essential services in the developing countries, such as banking, telecommunications, insurance, health and education. With this perspective in view, ECO CCI has attached importance to private sector cooperation, undertaking the required initiatives in areas such as trade and trade facilitation, investment, customs cooperation, private sector cooperation, etc. as outlined in the ECO Vision 2025. To this end, Governments can play central role to formulate conducive and business friendly policies, set up strong public institutions and make availability of efficient public goods and services to ensure the private sector can thrive and the benefits of growth trickle down to all citizens. Through mutual understanding, partnerships and collaboration amongst the governments of Member States, national chambers and the private sectors; a more swift and sustainable private sector driven growth may be achieved in the region.
On ECO Trade Agreement while the Secretariat’s proposal is still on the table, we do not limit ourselves to it and looking for any other viable ways and means to achieve implementation of preferential trade agreement. We define a project to study the most possible and agreeable means to invoke ECOTA. I would also like to inform you that the ECO secretariat is launching studies on trade facilitation to enhance trade through removing Technical Barriers to Trade like: Non Tariff Barriers (NTBs), Para Tariff Barriers (PTBs) etc., and save cost and time in the trade transactions. So addressing tariffs and non tariffs barriers to trade in the region is in our agenda.
It needs to be underlined that “Agreement on Promotion and Protection of Investment (APPI)”, will help increase trade and economic activities. So far, only three Member States have signed and ratified it. It will come in to force upon ratification by a 4th Member State.
As we are transiting through the middle of a severe Covid-19 pandemic, this gathering is fully mindful that ECO Member States’ economies are under challenging conditions. Its economic and social ramifications have been immense round the globe– public lives and health being its first and foremost causality, whilst economies have been the second major victim. The lockdowns of economies, bans on international travel, closure of borders and restrictions on trade of goods and services have crimpled world trade. The pandemic disrupted global supply and value chains and we have witnessed a fall in growth of the global economy, contraction in global trade and investment due to the ongoing chaos. The WTO’s estimates show that global merchandise trade is set to fall between 12% and 32% in 2020 and nearly all the regions will suffer double digit decline in trade volumes in 2020.
Once again, we wish health, success , prosperity and felicity for the people of Turkmenistan.
Economic Cooperation Organization
Chamber of Commerce and Industry , Secretary General
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