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TEXT: It is my profound pleasure to welcome the Honourable Presiding Officers, Parliamentarians and Delegates of the 2nd General Conference of the Parliamentary Assembly of the ECO Nations in Islamabad. I expect all delegates will leave no stone unturned to devise an action-based road map for regional integration among ECO nations that is the perpetual recipe for peace, stability and prosperity of our people.

The Regional co-operation begins with economic integration that gradually culminates into political integration. Accordingly, this PAECO conference should focus its attention on removal of all barriers to the movements of labour, goods and capital so that member states set a Customs Union having common external tariff on goods from other countries. Similarly, sharing experiences of implementing SDGs, which covers almost all aspects of human life and earth planet, will provide the opportunity to devise a united resolve and strategy along with concrete way forward for governments to build enhanced connectivity and day to day interactions amongst ECO countries.

I congratulate the Honourable Speaker, National Assembly of Pakistan, Mr. Asad Qaiser for providing the underlined vision of enhanced parliamentary effort for regional cooperation through this imperative parliamentary moot despite number of challenges particularly in shape of COVID-19. This aspect also shows the firm resolve of parliamentary leadership of ECO Nations to stand united even in most adverse situations. I am sure that the 2nd General PAECO Conference, Islamabad, will prove to be a watershed towards establishing closer integration amongst the ECO countries.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021