The First Meeting of ECO Heads of Investment Promotion Agencies (ECO-IPA) was held on December 26, 2016 in Islamabad, the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. The representatives of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, the Islamic Republic of Iran, Repblic of Azerbaijan, the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, Republic of Turkey and the ECO Secretariat participated in the Meeting.
H.E. Mr. Azher Ali Choudhry, Secretary of the Board of Investment of Pakistan inauguratedthe meeting. In his inaugural speech, and while welcoming the delegates, he hehighlighted the importance of ECO initiatives, activities and projects for strengthening investment cooperation within the region.
During the Meeting, the Heads of Delegations of the Member States delivered their respective country statements on the initiatives for strengthening investment in their countries.
The participants discussed the progress on various ECO inititiatives for investment including the ECO Agreement on Promotion and Protection of Investment (APPI), and emphsised the importance of its early ratification. The Meeting further deliberated and agreed on the ways and means of strengthening investment cooperation in the ECO Region; developing a roadmap for investment related component of the Multi-Dimensional Regional Trade and Investment Strategy Procedures; and harmonization of procedure and requirements to accelerate Portfolio and Foreign Direct Investment in Member States.
The meeting also discussed the importance of capacity building of the officials of the Investment Promotion Agencies. Meeting decided to designate National Focal Points (NFP) for investment related issues. It was also decided to change the title of the Meeting to “ECO Investment Promotion Agencies (ECO-IPAs) Forum”.