Distinguished Gurbanguli Myalikgulievich!
Dear heads of delegations!
I am very pleased to meet you on the Day of our Economic Cooperation Organization in the beautiful city of Ashgabat.
I join the words of gratitude to His Excellency President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov for organizing today’s forum at a high level and for his sincere hospitality extended to all its participants.
I would like to emphasize Turkmenistan’s effective chairmanship of the Organization and its significant contribution to extending the multilateral practical relations.
In particular, the Resolution of the United Nations General Assembly on partnership with the Economic Cooperation Organization adopted in September this year served as an important step in this direction.
DISTINGUISHED SUMMIT PARTICIPANTS!
Our fraternal peoples with close history, religion, customs and traditions have historically been linked with trade and cultural ties.
Over the past period, the Economic Cooperation Organization has turned into a major regional structure with enormous economic potential, representing the common interests of our states.
All the views expressed by my esteemed colleagues today have clearly confirmed the growing role and significance of our Organization on the international arena, our common aspirations to strengthen the mutual friendship and cooperation, as well as ensure stability.
In our turn, we stand for the further development of comprehensive relations in the framework of the Organization. We are committed to the effective implementation of our forthcoming chairmanship.
DEAR HEADS OF STATES AND GOVERNMENTS!
At present, we are all witnessing a global and regional situation, which is becoming an ever increasingly complex.
There is still no a clear answer to the questions of what trends shall be observed in the development of the world economy under the influence of the ongoing pandemic and what new threats the international community shall face.
In such a changing context, we believe it is necessary to unite our common efforts on the following priority directions.
First. It is necessary to fully use the enormous opportunities in the spheres of trade and investments of our countries with population of more than 500 million people and a huge market.
On the basis of the adopted conceptual program «ECO Vision 2025», it is expedient to further increase the trade, economic and investment relations between our countries and achieve the practical results.
To this end, we believe that it is a high time to develop and adopt an updated and comprehensive Trade Agreement in the framework of our Organization.
This document must address the issues of removing the trade barriers, digitization of customs procedures and introduction of an electronic commerce, which is at present assuming greater importance.
It is a requirement of today to increase the mutual investment flows in our countries and ensure their reliable protection, adopt the Joint Action Plan («Road Map») aimed at enhancing the production cooperation between our countries.
Along with this, we need to increase the mutual trade, develop the regionally significant projects and solidify our overall competitiveness in the world market.
With such a purpose, in cooperation with the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and the SPECA Special Program for the Central Asian Economy, we propose to establish a Trade, Investment and Innovation Center at our Organization and locate its headquarters in Tashkent.
Second. More efficient use of the new and available transport corridors in our region.
In this context, it is necessary to find specific solutions to a number of pressing issues. First of all, this is the establishment of interregional transit hubs, the development of modern transport and road infrastructure, the optimization of transport and transit tariffs and the provision of additional discounts, the simplification of conditions for international freight and passenger traffic, and the introduction of digitalization in the transport industry.
In order to implement these specific plans, it is expedient to develop a regional strategy aimed at developing the transport and communication links and increasing a transit capacity of our country.
Third. We should mobilize our practical efforts to achieve «green development».
At a time, the environmental problems and climate change are becoming an acute issue, which requires solving such most urgent tasks on our agenda as the effective use of best expertise gained in our countries and abroad, the active joint development of the "green economy", the broad application of the resource-saving technologies in industries, achieving a carbon neutrality.
To this end, we propose to establish a permanent High-Level Dialogue Council (ministers of ecology) with the participation of the international environmental scientists and experts.
Fourth. The restoration of touristic exchanges.
At the next regular meeting of tourism ministers in Bukhara in 2022, I would like to announce an initiative to adopt a Regional program for the development of safe tourism in the post-pandemic period.
Given such initiative, a serious attention would be paid to the development of «pilgrimage tourism» and other joint tourism products, expansion of the geography of flights and development of the tourism infrastructure.
DEAR SUMMIT PARTICIPANTS!
I would like to specially dwell on the current difficult situation in Afghanistan, which is a Member of our Organization.
Day after day, this country is facing an aggravating humanitarian crisis.
The Afghan people alone will not be able to withstand these ordeals without the assistance on the part of the international community, including its close neighbors.
Therefore, we should combine our efforts to provide the necessary assistance to the Afghan people and develop the common approaches.
We are also in favor to continue our cooperation with Afghanistan on major trade, transport and energy projects of regional importance.
DEAR HEADS OF STATES AND GOVERNMENTS!
I would like to dwell on yet another crucial issue.
It is a demand of the time to enhance the international status of our Organization, to establish our unique agenda as compared to other regional organizations, to strengthen the interactions with high-profile international structures, and to develop institutional mechanisms for our cooperation.
We put forward an initiative to establish a High-Level Expert Group to draft concrete proposals and recommendations for further improvement of the Organization’s activities.
Along with this, I believe it would be appropriate to introduce the tradition of naming each year proceeding from the priorities and current tasks of our cooperation.
We propose to declare the «Year of Strengthening the Interconnectivity» in our states during Uzbekistan’s chairmanship in the Organization.
We also support the adoption of the final document of our Summit today, the Ashgabat Consensus of Actions.
Taking this opportunity, I sincerely congratulate the new Secretary General of our Organization Mr. Khusrav Naziri on the beginning of his responsible tenure and wish him success in his future endeavors.
I want to express my gratitude for your sincere wishes on the transfer of the chairmanship in our Organization for the first time to Uzbekistan.
In conclusion, I would like to especially emphasize that with our aspirations and efforts, we shall be able to raise the multifaceted and mutually beneficial cooperation in the framework of the Organization to a completely new level in the near future.
It is with a great pleasure that I invite all of you to Uzbekistan to participate at our next summit.
Thank you for your attention!