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    • Secretary General ECO Calls on Foreign Minister of the Republic of Azerbaijan
      Secretary General ECO Calls on Foreign Minister of the Republic of Azerbaijan
      Dr. Hadi Soleimanpour paid his first visit to the Republic of Azerbaijan as the Secretary General ECO on 25-26 October, 2018 and held meeting with H.E. Elmar Mammadyarov, Foreign Minister to discuss ways and means to enhance economic cooperation in the ECO region.

      The Honurable Minister highlighted that the ECO member states might benefit from the projects initiated jointly and observed that there are immense opportunities for cooperation between the Member States especially in the areas of trade, transport, information and communication technologies, tourism, energy, etc and it can yield dividends for all economies in the region.

      While appreciating the Honourable Minister to receive the ECO delegation, Secretary General informed Excellency about Azerbaijan's active role in ECO activities. He apprised about the latest developments at the ECO and exchanged views on the prospects of the relations for socio-economic development in this resource-rich region. He underlined ECO’s institutional reforms for more ownership of the organization to perform its effective role in realization of the ECO Vision 2025 and emphasized on coordinated efforts to get more concrete results in main priority areas.


      During the Meeting, Secretary General touched upon organization's core agreements such as ECO Trade Agreement (ECOTA), Agreement of Protection and Promotion of Investment (APPI), Transit Transport Framework Agreement (TTFA) and its potential impact on the Republic of Azerbaijan. especially as a transit country. He appreciated brilliant idea of ECO Research Centre (ERC) from the Republic of Azerbaijan which is under process. Both parties also discussed the significance of tourism in the region and agreed to work more closely on some new ideas to tap immense potential of the region. Considering accelerated effort and closer cooperation as imperative, both sides agreed to further intensify constructive engagements for regional development.


      Meeting with Deputy Foreign Minister

      Prior to this Meeting, Secretary General also met H.E. Mahmud Mammad-Guliyev, Deputy Foreign Minister of the Republic of Azerbaijan and discussed in detail matters relating to Azerbaijan role in enhancing organization efficiency and reform process and issues related to trade, investment, ECO-TDB, transport and communication potential as corridor hub, etc which were later discussed with the Honourable Foreign Minister. Deputy Minister underlined that Azerbaijan assigns special significance to ECO affairs due to its great contribution in the regional development.
      Both meetings concluded with appreciation of the host government for their great hospitality and excellent arrangements.

      Secretary General Calls on Azerbaijan's Minister of Economy in Baku
      Dr. Hadi Soleimanpour, Secretary General ECO called on H.E. Shahin Mustafavyev, Minister of Economy, Republic of Azerbaijan on 26 October, 2018 to discuss with the honourable Minister the latest developments at ECO and exchange views on means to improve the economic conditions and trade prospects between the ECO and the Republic of Azerbaijan.
      The Honouable Minister updated Secretary General ECO on economic performance of the country and touched its future prospects. Excellency gave a brief overview of Azerbaijan's economic growth, trade and investment and its role in ECO-Trade and Development Bank (ECO-TDB) and expressed his hope to improve it benefitting the whole region through diversification of economy and better connectivity.
      Secretary General expressed deep appreciation for the Honourable Minister to receive the ECO delegation and informed him about the active participation Azerbaijan in ECO activities. He highlighted current status of cooperation between ECO and the Republic of Azerbaijan with focus on future plans for realization of the ECO Vision 2025. He highlighted Azerbaijan’s trade volume with its neighboring countries and emphasized to enhance it to its potential through more meaningful cooperation within the ECO framework especially through ECO Trade Agreement (ECOTA) for enhanced market access. He appreciated Azerbaijan's role in the ECO-Trade and Development Bank and need to enhance its contribution in future .
      During the Meeting, ECO's some vital agreements such as Agreement of Protection and Promotion of Investment (APPI), Transit Transport Framework Agreement (TTFA) also came under discussion. Secretary General also touched upon ECO's connectivity projects for its favourable impact for Azerbaijan' s economy to help make it a Transit corridor/hub to increase its trade and overall development in the region. Secretary General also discussed the ECO Electricity Market initiative.
      Both sides agreed on the significance of increasing trade, investment, energy and tourism in the region through enhanced connectivity and to enhance commercial viability of projects through increased trade. Establishment of ECO Research Centre (ERC) in Baku and its envisioned role as a regional think tank was also discussed benefitting the region in multiple ways. Both sides also discussed on-going and future projects in the area of research and praised the contribution of Azerbaijan in its furtherance. Both sides agreed to further deepen cooperation in the time ahead to help utilize Azerbaijan's development potential and to improve the pace of in regional development.

      Secretary General Meets Azerbaijan's Minister of Transport, Communications and High Technologies in Baku

      Secretary General ECO was warmly received by H.E. Ramin Namiq Oglu Guluzade, Minister of Transport, Communications and High Technologies during his official visit to the Republic of Azerbaijan on 25-26 October, 2018. The Meeting discussed importance of connectivity and communication for the Republic of Azerbaijan which has immense potential as a transit hub. Also, significance of the proximity of the Republic of Azerbaijan to huge market of the ECO Member States and its beneficial role in fostering economic growth and development through enhancing volume exports was deliberated. In this background, various ways and means to enhance economic cooperation particularly through improving regional connectivity were considered in the meeting.
      Dr. Hadi Soleimanpour after warm reception informed the Honourable Minister about the current state of various road and rail connections and projects passing through Azerbaijan. Both sides concurred that better connectivity, physical and electronic, is imperative for result-oriented cooperation by providing a strong base for enhancing intra-regional trade and commercial activities in the region through better inflow of investments.
      He underscored that more projects will be launched in future in priority areas including Transport and Communications in the light of the ECO Vision 2025. In this context, overarching legal framework of Transit Transport Framework Agreement (TTFA) and its potential impact on the Republic of Azerbaijan came under discussion. Current state of the main road and rail routes connecting the North-South, East-West of the Region particularly (Baku-Tbilisi-Kars (BTK) and its possibility of connectivity with the eastern part of the ECO region was also discussed. The developments with regard to infrastructure project connecting Azerbaijan and Iran through Astara which is the part of ECO project" Gazvin -Rasht -Astara (Iran) -Astara (Azerbaijan) was also discussed. The Honourable Minister emphasized on the need to work together and make Azerbaijan a transit and electronic hub and benefit the region.

      Future plans of the road and rail projects came under consideration and both sides agreed to further intensify efforts for mutual and collective gain of the Republic of Azerbaijan as well as the region.


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