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President Dr. Arif Alvi will pay an official visit to Turkmenistan to attend the 15th Summit of the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) being held in Ashgabat on 28 November 2021.

ECO is a regional economic trade and development Organization established in 1985. Pakistan, Iran and Turkey are its founding members. The three countries were earlier part of the RCD (Regional Cooperation for Development), established in 1964.

In 1992, ECO expanded to include Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan. Afghanistan also became a member later.

The ECO region is located in neighbourhood of China, Europe, Russia and Gulf States. It comprises 6.3% of world population. It contributes more than 2% to global trade with around 3% share in global GDP. The region is rich in fossil fuel and mineral resources. The intra-region trade is 8%. Main trading partners of the region are EU, China and the U.S.

Pakistan hosted the 13th ECO Summit in Islamabad in 2017, while the 14th ECO Summit was hosted by Turkey in virtual format.

The 15th ECO Summit will be chaired by President of Turkmenistan Mr. Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov. The theme of the Summit is: “Into the Future Together.” The Summit meeting will review activities of the Organization and adopt “Ashgabat Consensus for Action” as the outcome document.

Besides reviewing ECO programs and activities, the Summit meeting will also consider the Mid-Term Review of ECO Vision 2025. The Vision 2025 was adopted in 2017 during the 13th Summit held in Pakistan. It serves as an overarching policy roadmap for the future and revival of ECO and provides guidelines for cooperation in trade, connectivity, energy, tourism, economic growth, social welfare and the environment.

The President will address the plenary session of the Summit. He will also hold bilateral meetings with participating leaders on the sidelines of the ECO Summit.

26 November 2021

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