ISLAMABAD - Speaker National Assembly Dr Fehmida Mirza has urged parliaments of the ECO member states to play their role in promoting intra-regional trade and investment.She was speaking at the concluding session of the 1st conference of Parliamentary Assembly of Economic Cooperation Organisation (PAECO) member states on Tuesday afternoon. Fehmida Mirza said the full potential of ECO intra-trade and investment is not being utilised. Fehmida said the parliaments of the member States can also facilitate the private sector through supportive legislation and removing barriers that created hurdles in intra-regional trade and investment. The Speaker said there is need to sustain the meaningful parliamentary dialogue and increase momentum of parliamentary exchanges among member parliaments. The next meeting will be held in Afghanistan.The maiden conference of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Economic Cooperation Organization (PAECO) concluded here Tuesday with speakers suggesting unified legal standards for ECO countries to tackle issues of insecurity and poverty to bring peace and prosperity. The House held discussion on ‘Parliament’s oversight role in promoting intra-regional trade and investments to ensure sustainable socio-economic development in the ECO Region’ that was opened by Dr Fehmida Mirza, Speaker National Assembly and President of the PAECO. In her opening address after assuming the office of the PAECO President, Fehmida Mirza said the principles of Izmir Treaty had been guiding the governments to seek a peaceful, progressive and enabling environment for the sustainable human and economic development of our people and PAECO’s establishment manifests the same resolve.She said the PAECO Charter envisions the ECO parliamentarians to jointly promote common values, interests and opportunities and invoke the dictums of “Parliamentary Diplomacy” in fostering democracy, peace and development in our region.  She said besides deciding to hold PAECO conference annually, the members have agreed to provide an institutional structure to PAECO by framing its rules for the conduct of its business. She said the topic of the discussion held key for opening future vistas of a meaningful cooperation and was aimed at enabling our parliamentarians to identify a tangible role for themselves for promoting intra-regional trade and investments.Speaker of the Shoura-e-Islami of the Islamic Republic of Iran Dr. Ali Larijani said the ECO countries should explore and benefit each others’ potential for regional growth.He said Iran was ready to put its services at the disposal of other ECO countries to assist them in the areas in which Iran has excelled.He said Iran and Azerbaijan were rich of oil and gas resources, adding the former had been supplying gas to Turkey and work on an identical project between Pakistan and Iran was underway.He proposed forming special committees to pursue the PAECO decisions so that the governments could allocate budgets and added that in order to facilitate the trade and investment, it was essential to uniform the legal standards of member states.Speaker of the Majlisi Namoyandagon Majlisi Oli Tajikistan Shukur-jon Zuhurov said despite passage of centuries, Silk Route had not yet lost its magnitude of trade and Parliaments could play vital role to exploit potentials of ECO member states.Calling for true implementation of ECO Trade Agreement, he assured all out cooperation of Tajikistan government. He also suggested easing visa regime and setting up of trade facilitation centers in all ECO countries. Taking part in the discussion, Second Deputy Speaker of Wolesi Jirga of Afghanistan Neamatullah Ghaffari said due to the war on terror, Afghanistan had faced an irreparable loss particularly the transportation sector, however such meetings would surely help revive the situation in the country.He said the manufacturing industry of the country was in dilapidation however there were yet several areas where investment can be made and Afghan government would welcome local and foreign investors there.He said coalition forces were set to repatriate from Afghanistan in 2014 what he said was a serious issue for the country adding if the PAECO did not contribute to establish peace in the country, it would not achieve its objectives.Deputy Speaker National Assembly Faisal Karim Kundi said guidance through parliamentary forums could boost the performance of existing regional organisations, exemplifying the ASEAN and European Union.He said the region was faced with terrorism that needed to be eliminated as the menace had claimed thousands of human lives and Pakistan and Afghanistan had suffered the most.Referring to the suggestions that Azerbaijan and Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus should also be invited as observers, the deputy speaker said Kashmir should also be invited as observer.The discussion was also participated by parliamentarians including Khuram Jahangir Wattoo, Riaz Fatyana, Shahnaz Wazir Ali, Dr Tariq Fazal Chaudhry, Nuzhat Sadiq, Shireen Arshad from Pakistan, Mehdi Sanai from Iran, Latif Pedram and Asadullah from Afghanistan.Meanwhile, Speaker National Assembly Dr Fehmida Mirza Tuesday held separate bilateral meetings with Cemil Cecek and Dr Ali Larijani, Speakers of Turkey and Iran, respectively along with their delegations on the sidelines of the 1st conference of Parliamentary Assembly of Economic Cooperation Organisation (PAECO).During the meetings Dr Fehmida Mirza underscored the need for closer contacts and cooperation among the ECO countries specially making the PAECO forum more effective so that it ponders issues and common challenges confronted by the member states and find solutions, thereof. She said that the ECO region was a huge repository of human resource and economic potential, which if properly exploited could usher in era of progress and prosperity in the region. She also underlined the need for working together to overcome the issues and work jointly for the welfare of the people of ECO region.She said that all the trade and other agreements of cooperation between ECO member states should be accomplished specially the establishment of Trade and Investment Bank in Turkey. She said that all the Members states should sign the Banking agreement so that the Bank could commence its operations.She thanked her Turkish and Iranian counterparts for their unflinching support for making her initiative into a reality. She expressed her gratitude to them for their active participation in the conference and expressed the hope that the forum would provide an opportunity for interaction and dialogue on matters of mutual interests.Reciprocating, the Turkish and Iranian Speakers agreed with views of Speaker National Assembly and lauded her efforts for taking concrete steps in bringing the regional allies closer to each other. They said that the forum would provide an opportunity to share experiences on regional and international issues. They agreed that the PAECO forum should play its active role in bringing prosperity in the ECO region.