0812 GMT February 21, 2018
Forud Asgari told IRNA on the sidelines of 8th meeting of the heads of the customs administrations of the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) countries in Islamabad, that Iran carried out 288 successful operations against drug trafficking based on the report of Asia-Pacific Regional Studies Institute.
Giving details of the conference, he said one of the main objectives of the meeting was to sign an agreement on mutual administrative assistance on customs issues among ECO member states.
Asgari said that electronic exchange of information of import and export of goods among the ECO states were also brought up for discussions. He noted that Iran and Azerbaijan are already doing this exercise while Turkey and Afghanistan are testing that.
He contended that such ECO agreement would help countries speed up the procedure for clearance of goods through customs.
Iran, Turkey and Azerbaijan as ECO member-states are successfully taking actions against illicit trade, specially drug smuggling, he pointed out.
"By controlling illicit trade we can have better trade cooperation among ECO member states," Asgari noted.
The official said that Iran, as an important member of 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 was also an important issue discussed in the meeting.
The official said Iran and Pakistan are seeking to resolve impediments in custom issues, and both countries are providing new technologies to their border and customs officials in this regard.
With the exchange of information "we can do better trade among ECO countries, especially between Iran and Pakistan", he noted.
Asgari added that the meeting also reviewed actions on the decisions of earlier 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.