ECO chamber of commerce’s 19th general assembly meeting held virtually

March 8, 2022 - 15:49

TEHRAN – The 19th general assembly meeting of the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) chamber of commerce and industries was held virtually on Tuesday, the portal of Iran Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture (ICCIMA) reported.

The event was attended by the heads of ECO members’ chambers of commerce as well as the senior members of the mentioned chambers.

Speaking in this online gathering, ICCIMA Head Gholam-Hossein Shafeie said: “ECO member chambers need to adapt their business models to existing risks and reduce the effects of the coronavirus crisis on the regional economy by developing e-commerce and by accelerating the implementation of regional agreements.”

Noting that the Economic Cooperation Organization is located at the crossroads of east-west and north-south corridors, the official noted that the Islamabad-Tehran-Istanbul (ITI) corridor, which connects the Indian subcontinent to Eastern Europe, is located in the ECO region.

“The Kyrgyzstan-Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Iran corridor and the Bandar Abbas-Ashgabat-Almaty corridor and other important corridors are also located in the region and connect global markets from the Far East to Europe and from Russia to the Indian subcontinent,” Shafeie added.

Undoubtedly, the implementation of the ITI Corridor project will help reduce transportation costs and time, and will generate revenue in trade and boost economic cooperation between ECO member countries, he stated.

Shafeie stressed that the ECO region, with its large population and abundant economic potential, should have a larger share of the global economy.

“Existing statistics show that the organization's trade volume with the world is about $710 billion, of which only 7.8 percent has been the share of intra-regional trade,” he regretted.

According to the official, foreign direct investment (FDI) in member countries, according to the latest available statistics, is only 1.7 percent of the total FDI in the world, which is a very low and far from the expectations and economic potential of the region.

Referring to the recent political tensions and the Coronavirus crisis, which has led to serious risks to trade and investment of ECO member countries, the ICCIMA head said: "ECO member chambers should try to adapt their business models to the existing risks and put them in use. They need to recognize themselves as representatives of small and medium-sized industries, and overcome existing problems by providing services to these industries, as well as developing e-commerce solutions, and accelerating the implementation of regional agreements.”

EF/MA

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