ECO urges development of cargo transportation infrastructure

KARACHI: The Transportation Committee Meeting of ECO Chamber of Commerce & Industry (ECO CCI) hosted by the Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FPCCI) has urged the development and upgrading of physical infrastructure for transportation of cargo and communication among ECO members states.

ECO CCI, headquartered in Iran, held its 16th Executive Committee, other Specialized Committee meetings, attended by its Presidents, office bearers from Pakistan, Iran, Turkey, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan & Afghanistan.

Secretary General ECO CCI, Dr. Muhammad Reza Karbasi spoke of future plans for promotion of trade and investment among ECO member countries aimed at economic uplift and development of ECO region.

Efficiency, growth, output of regional economic agreements come after creating infrastructures and increase in trade facilities in the region on a gradual basis.

In pursuance of agreement between Iran, Pakistan and Turkey, track for ECO Container Train was determined and tentatively inaugurated in 2009.

International consultants were hired who accompanied the ECO Train through path linking Islamabad, Zahedan, Tehran and Istanbul to check for flaws in the route.

Karbasi said this train made great achievements in curtailing transit route of goods. Initially it took 15 days to reach Istanbul from Islamabad. Later, it was cut to less than twelve days to cover a distance of 6,500 kilometers.

He said the train would be able to transport one million passengers and 8 million tons of cargo annually.

He felt there should be multiple visas for cargo carrier drivers and unified customs systems at borders of all member countries.

He said the main bridges – Chahju in Iran and Sarus in Turkmenistan need to be reconstructed or at least repaired to ensure smooth movement of cargo and people in ECO region.

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