"The world economy’s heart is to beat in Asia from the second half of the present century,” President Hassan Rouhani said at the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO)’s 13th plenary session in Pakistan's capital Islamabad on Wednesday.
The intergovernmental regional organization was founded by Iran, Pakistan, and Turkey back in 1985. It also groups Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan. The body works toward ensuring that its members witness steady economic progress while also working to facilitate better cooperation among them.
"Emerging Asian economies will be changing the course of the world economy from the West toward the East. This change will turn the 21st century to the century of Asia’s supremacy,” President Rouhani further said at the forum.
Economic assessments, the Iranian chief executive said, showed that change in the economic position of some of ECO’s influential members over the next decade will again make the organization "the key to West-East interaction in the Asia of the future.”
Rouhani said that the ECO region was the shortest and most economical course for trade and transportation from Europe to the rest of Asia.
He said, however, that there was much room for the enhancement of cooperation in the field of energy in the geographical region.
Elsewhere in his remarks, President Rouhani urged "faith in our capability to solve our problems” and an end to the "destructive competitions” in the fight against the common bane of terrorism and extremism.
Toward that purpose, he said, "we should mobilize our wills to return to our historical position of highway of civilization, culture, and business,” he asserted. "The ECO forms a suitable ground for the creation of a safer region for our peoples.”