On May 3, 2018, in the Avaza National Tourism Zone, the IX meeting of the Ministers of Transport and Communications of the member countries of the Economic Cooperation Organization was held. High-ranking representatives of the Economic Cooperation Organization, the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP), the International Road Transport Union (IRU) and a number of other international organizations attended the meeting which was held in the congress center of the Deniz Hotel.
The forum, on the agenda of which there were a wide range of issues of development of regional and interregional transport communications, activation of international cooperation in a strategically important sector, gathered more than 70 participants from ECO countries - Azerbaijan, Afghanistan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Turkmenistan, Turkey, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. The delegations included the heads and leading specialists of the transport and communications ministries and departments, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, commerce and industry, investment and development, as well as customs and migration services, specialized agencies, enterprises and companies of road, rail, water and air transport.
Taking into account the important role played by the transport corridors, this issue is currently an important aspect of the ECO agenda, whose mission is to create favorable conditions for the economic growth of the region, the consistent integration of its states into the world economic relations system, the intensification of interstate relations in the spheres of culture, science and education.
This is the aim of the program "ECO Vision 2025 Prospects" (ECO Vision 2025), within which ECO member countries intend to develop and implement partnership strategies in such areas as economics and trade, transport and communications, energy, tourism, social welfare and the environment.
In the course of the meeting, aspects of development of the regional market of transport and communication services, freight and passenger transportation by rail, civil aviation, road and sea transport were considered. During the discussions the participants stressed the need for a coordinated transport policy in order to give greater practical focus to regional interaction. The issues of synchronization of legislation and tariffs, gradual simplification of customs, visa and other procedures were also touched upon.
The meeting noted the relevance of projects supported by the President of Turkmenistan, including the creation of the Modal Highway for Central Asia with access to Turkey, the construction of the Afghanistan-Turkmenistan-Azerbaijan-Georgia-Turkey transport corridor, the activation of the Europe-Caucasus-Asia transport corridor (TRACECA).
The subject of the interested discussion was the development in the ECO member countries of information and telecommunication technologies, broadband high-speed Internet, expansion of the range of services rendered in this field.
Summing up the meeting, the participants were unanimous in the opinion that a constructive business conversation will promote further strengthening of cooperation in the region within the framework of the ECO in such important areas as transport and communications.
Following the results of the IX meeting of the Ministers of Transport and Communications of the Economic Cooperation Organization member countries, a relevant document was adopted.