imageISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif Tuesday expressed his confidence that the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) would soon develop into a key regional economic bloc.

“Synergizing our strengths, we can soon change our region's destiny. The way forward for us has been laid out in ECO Vision 2025 in the form of pragmatic and tangible organisational targets," the prime minister said in his video message released on the occasion of 13th Summit being held on Wednesday (March 1).

He said it was a privilege for Pakistan to host the summit and extended a very warm welcome to all the guests.

He said the Summit's theme, `Connectivity for Regional Prosperity' represented a collective vision to build ECO into a community of shared prosperity through greater economic integration and close people-to-people contact.

The prime minister viewed that the participation of high-level leadership from all the 10 members of ECO made this summit a significant milestone. The event also marks the 25th Anniversary of the joining of ECO by seven new members in 1992, he added.

Nawaz Sharif said the occasion inspired the ECO states to redouble their efforts to achieve the aims and objectives of the organisation for the benefit and welfare of all our people.

Surely, he said the Islamabad Declaration, to be adopted at the summit, would reflect the joint aspirations of the people of the region.

The prime minister said he had a firm conviction that expanded connectivity, enhanced trade and deeper economic cooperation would transform the region into a bastion of progress, prosperity and peace.

He said the ECO states were the proud custodians of the Silk Road legacy and inspired by the Silk Road's spirit of openness,

He assured that Pakistan would be more than happy to provide ECO states connectivity through its ports.

Nawaz Sharif said the ECO region was endowed with abundant energy resources, minerals, agriculture, industry and dynamic human capital. Our common cultural and historical heritage is an even more valuable asset, he added.

Copyright APP (Associated Press of Pakistan), 2017