ECO countries urged to join Pak-Afghan Transit Trade agreement


The Minister for Commerce Makhdoom Amin Faheem has urged Economic Cooperation Organisation (ECO) member countries to join the Pakistan-Afghan Transit Trade Agreement to enhance regional trade. Addressing the three-day ECO ministerial meeting in Kabul on Wednesday, he said ECO member countries should reduce tariff and non-tariff barriers to increase trade bilateral trade. He said smuggling poses a direct threat to economic stability and security of the region and ECO member countries should take tough measures to control illicit movement of goods.
He urged early implementation of ECO Trade Agreement (ECOTA) as out of ten member countries, only five have signed the agreement. ECOTA is adopted by Pakistan, Iran, Turkey, Afghanistan and Tajikistan. Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyszstan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan have not yet signed it. Earlier, the commerce minister met with his Iranian counterpart and discussed signing of new Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) and urged Iran to play its role in implementation of existing regional agreements.