ECO-IPA meeting held to promote business activity

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ISLAMABAD, Dec 26 (APP): The first meeting of Economic Cooperation Organization- Investment Promotion Agencies (ECO-IPA) was held here to promote inter and intra-regional business activity in general and among the member states in particular.
The meeting was chaired by Secretary, Board of Investment, Azher Ali Choudhary while representatives of IPA’s from Afghanistan, Iran, Turkey, Azerbaijan and Pakistan participated in it.
The Secretary, BOI informed the participants that in the 3rd ECO Ministerial Meeting on Finance and Economy held on December 21 – 23 , 2008 in Tehran, it was decided to set-up an ECO- Heads of Investment Promotion Agencies (ECO – IPA) Forum on the pattern of ECO- Heads of Trade Promotion Organizations (TPOs).
He said that this activity of ECO countries will play an active role for the collective advantage of the region.
It will boost inter and intra-regional business activity in general and among the member states in particular.
The representatives of the ECO-IPA countries presented their country statements with regard to Investment policy, conducive environment, regulatory frameworks, role of IPA’s and potential of trade and investment available in their countries.
The proposed ECO regional Trade and Investment strategy has two components: trade and investment. Enhanced Cooperation in both these areas is vital to economic integration of the Member States.
According to a BoI statement, the main purpose of cooperation in the ECO should be to strengthen the regional market, create wealth in the region, and enhance competitiveness through increased production, value added creation, and trade and investment inflows in the region.
The statement added that in order to increase the level of intra-ECO trade and investment as well as increase the share of ECO in global trade and investment inflows it was essential that the Member countries adopt liberal trade and investment policies and put in place the right institutional mechanism.
“The proposed strategy provides a framework for Member States to achieve that end”, the BoI statement said.
There is also a need for creating greater awareness among the stakeholders in the region about the need for trade and investment liberalization and specify benchmarks and timeframe to measure progress for tangible results, the statement added.