Iran 1st country in Asia-Pacific to control illicit trade: Official

Islamabad, Nov 14, IRNA - Deputy Minister of Economic Affairs and President of Iran Customs Administration announced that over past nine months, Iran has been the first country in Asia-Pacific region to control illicit trade.

In an interview with IRNA on the sidelines of 8th meeting of the heads of the customs administrations of the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) countries in Islamabad, Forod Asgari, said according to report of Asia-Pacific Regional Studies Institute Iran has carried out 288 successful operations against drug trafficking.

Giving details of the conference, he said one of the main objectives of the meeting is to sign an agreement for mutual administrative assistance in customs matter among the ECO member states.

Asgari said that electronic exchange of information of import and export of goods among the ECO stateswere also discussed.

He said that Iran and Azerbaijan are already doing this exercise while Turkey and Afghanistan are testing that.

Asgari strongly believed that such ECO agreement would help the countries to speed up the procedure for clearance of goods through customs.

He went on to say that Iran, Turkey and Azerbaijan as ECO member-states are successfully taking actions against illicit trade, specially drug smuggling.

“By controlling illicit trade we can have better trade cooperation among the ECO state,” Asgari noted.

The Iranian official said that Iran as an important member of the ECO is taking out regional training programs for customs officials. “A conference will be held in Teheran soon for more cooperation on training programs among the ECO states,” he said.

President of Iran Customs Administration noted that transit trade is an important issue discussed in the meeting.

The official said Iran and Pakistan are trying to solve impediments in custom issues, and both countries are providing new technologies to their border and customs officials in this regards.

Asgari viewed that by the exchange of information 'we can do better trade among the ECO countries, specially between Iran and Pakistan.

He added that the meeting also reviewed actions on the decisions of previous meetings and also discussed the initiatives for further boosting customs cooperation in the ECO region.

The Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) includes 10 member-states: Iran, Turkey, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.

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