ICCIMA selected as periodic chair of ECO chamber of commerce, industry

March 9, 2022 - 10:40

TEHRAN – During the 19th general assembly meeting of the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ECO CCI), the periodic chairmanship of ECO CCI was transferred to Iran Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture (ICCIMA), the portal of ICCIMA reported.

During the meeting, which was held virtually on Tuesday, the chairmanship of ECO CCI was transferred from Turkey to Iran for a period of three years, and Mohammadreza Karbasi, the ICCIMA deputy head for international affairs, was selected as the secretary-general of ECO CCI.

The Economic Cooperation Organization or ECO is an Asian political and economic intergovernmental organization that was founded in 1985 in Tehran by the leaders of Iran, Pakistan, and Turkey.

Afghanistan, Republic of Azerbaijan, Islamic Republic of Iran, Republic of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Islamic Republic of Pakistan, Republic of Tajikistan, Republic of Turkey, Turkmenistan, and Republic of Uzbekistan are at present the member states of ECO.

The ECO permanent secretariat is based in Tehran, but the ECO Chamber of Commerce and Industry secretariat is rotated between members over a three-year period.

Both secretariats will now be based in Tehran for a period of three years. The issue was mentioned by Karbasi, the new secretary-general of the ECO Chamber of Commerce and Industry, at the 19th general assembly meeting of ECO CCI. He expressed hope that regular meetings would be held between the ECO Chamber of Commerce and Industry and ECO to review the dimensions of joint cooperation and use the capacity of the private sector to develop cooperation.

The mentioned meeting 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.

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.”

Iran and ECO members had traded more than 23.723 million tons of goods worth $11.71 billion during the previous Iranian calendar year (ended on March 20, 2021), of which the share of exports was 18.419 million tons of goods worth $6.890 billion and the share of imports from these countries was 5.312 million tons worth $4.819 billion.

MA/MA

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