The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the Economic Cooperation Organisation (ECO) held their 13th Ministerial Meeting on 26 September 2013 in New York, the U.S.A., on the sidelines of the 68th Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).

The Meeting was attended by representatives from ASEAN and ECO Member States, and co-chaired by H.E. Mr.Alounkeo KITTIKHOUN, Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Lao PDR, and H.E. Mr.Elmar Mammadyarow, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Azerbaijan. The Secretaries-General of the two Organisations were also present at the Meeting.

The two Organisations updated each other with recent developments in their respective regions, reviewedthe status of cooperation between the two sides, and exchanged views on the future direction of the ASEAN-ECO relations.

The Meeting reviewedthe Work Programme to implement the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Secretariats of ASEAN and ECO, which was signed in 2006, and discussed the possibility of revising the MOU to accommodate the increasing need for ASEAN-ECO cooperation in the areas of mutual interest, including but not limited to trade, investment and tourism.

Recognising the key role of the private sector in promoting inter-regional trade and investment, the Meeting emphasised the need to better facilitate interactions among the private sectors and businesses from the two regions. In this regard, the Meeting recalled the decision of the 12th ASEAN-ECO Joint Ministerial Meeting held in September 2011 in New York to undertake more concrete actions to realise the Work Programme, among which,the convening of an ASEAN-ECO Business Forum and an ASEAN-ECO Tourism Forum were urged to be implemented during 2013-2014.

The Meeting took note of the increasinginteractions and collaboration between the Secretariats of ASEAN and ECO in the recent years, and encouraged their regular exchanges of information, experience and expertise to further contribute to strengthening cooperation between the two Organisations.

New York, 26 September 2013