ISLAMABAD: Minister for Planning and Development Asad Umar has underlined the need for harnessing the trade potential of Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) countries by creating infrastructure of connectivity. Addressing the General Conference of the Parliamentary Assembly of ECO which is continuing in Islamabad, he said we have to develop rail, road and air linkages besides simplifying the visa regime to achieve the objective. The Minister for Planning said that promotion of trade amongst the ECO is important to lift up the peoples of this region and provide them the prosperity. Special Assistant on Poverty Alleviation Dr Sania Nishtar said the ECO should work together as a bloc to promote the promising sector of tourism which can fuel our growth in the post COVID-19 context. She said the ECO countries can share their experiences and pool the resources to capitalize on the opportunities that exist for promotion of this sector in the region. As regards Pakistan, the Special Assistant on Poverty Alleviation said the government considers tourism as an engine of growth and a driver of poverty alleviation. Highlighting the diverse tourism potential of Pakistan including that of religious, she said the government has built special infrastructure to promote tourism.