Transport integration of ECO member countries need to expand

TEHRAN, May 23 (MNA) – The Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Economic Diplomacy Mehdi Safari has said transit activities between ECO member countries should expand and tariffs rates should be coordinated and the same.

Deputy foreign ministers of the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) held a meeting in Tehran on Monday. 

Turkey, Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan are taking part in the meeting at the level of deputy foreign ministers, while Mehdi Safari, Deputy Foreign Minister for Economic Diplomacy represented the Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the meeting.

Safari attended the ECO meeting and held bilateral meetings with his counterparts on the sidelines of the meeting. Economic diplomacy and explaining the Raeisi administration's neighborliness policy to develop relations and economic integration among ECO member countries were atop his agenda in the meetings.

Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the meeting, the Iranian deputy foreign minister said, "The meeting focused on expanding trade and economic interactions among member countries. Last year, trade volume among ECO member countries was about $ 40 billion."

He added, "There is the potentiality to increase the volume of trade to 500 to 600 billion dollars."

The Iranian official also said, "We are currently witnessing the ECO Bank has become operational, while we believe that this bank should be operated to support and implement banking relations between countries."

He added, "The bank is currently financing small projects between the three countries of Iran, Turkey and Pakistan, while its field of activity should be expanded to all member countries."

"Most projects should be covered by insurance when it comes to export development," Safari added.

He also said, "Currently, there is an insurance fund based in Karachi, Pakistan, and money must be invested in it so that this insurance fund can be implemented and become operational."

The Iranian deputy foreign minister also said, "We are now looking for implementing north to south and west to east corridors, and fortunately 10 member countries are included in these transit routes."

He added, "Activities in the field of transit between member countries should expand and that tariffs should be the same rate and coordinated between member states."

KI/5497325

News Code 187109

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