GLOBAL ECONOMY

Pakistani PM Sharif opens key regional economic summit

  • Pakistani police officers stand guard at a barricaded road leading to the venue of the Economic Cooperation Organization summit in Islamabad, Pakistan, Wednesday, March 1, 2017. Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has opened a key economic summit aimed at improving trade ties amid unprecedented security. Islamabad is hosting 13th Economic Cooperation Organization summit consisting 10 countries to finalize a plan for expanding trade and prosperity among member nations. (AP Photo/Anjum Naveed)

    Pakistani police officers stand guard at a barricaded road leading to the venue of the Economic Cooperation Organization summit in Islamabad, Pakistan, Wednesday, March 1, 2017. Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has opened a key economic summit aimed at improving trade ties amid unprecedented security. Islamabad is hosting 13th Economic Cooperation Organization summit consisting 10 countries to finalize a plan for expanding trade and prosperity among member nations. (AP Photo/Anjum Naveed)  (The Associated Press)

  • Pakistani army soldiers stand guard at a barricaded road leading to the venue of the Economic Cooperation Organization summit in Islamabad, Pakistan, Wednesday, March 1, 2017. Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has opened a key economic summit aimed at improving trade ties amid unprecedented security. Islamabad is hosting 13th Economic Cooperation Organization summit consisting 10 countries to finalize a plan for expanding trade and prosperity among member nations. (AP Photo/Anjum Naveed)

    Pakistani army soldiers stand guard at a barricaded road leading to the venue of the Economic Cooperation Organization summit in Islamabad, Pakistan, Wednesday, March 1, 2017. Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has opened a key economic summit aimed at improving trade ties amid unprecedented security. Islamabad is hosting 13th Economic Cooperation Organization summit consisting 10 countries to finalize a plan for expanding trade and prosperity among member nations. (AP Photo/Anjum Naveed)  (The Associated Press)

  • In this photo released by Associated Press of Pakistan, leaders and representatives of the member states of the 10-nation Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) attend the 13th ECO summit in Islamabad, Pakistan, Wednesday, March 1, 2017. Participants in the regional economic summit agreed Wednesday to collectively fight the challenge of terrorism and push for greater collaboration in the areas of trade, energy and infrastructure development. (Associated Press of Pakistan via AP)

    In this photo released by Associated Press of Pakistan, leaders and representatives of the member states of the 10-nation Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) attend the 13th ECO summit in Islamabad, Pakistan, Wednesday, March 1, 2017. Participants in the regional economic summit agreed Wednesday to collectively fight the challenge of terrorism and push for greater collaboration in the areas of trade, energy and infrastructure development. (Associated Press of Pakistan via AP)  (The Associated Press)

Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has opened a key economic summit aimed at improving trade ties amid unprecedented security.

Islamabad is hosting the 10-nation Economic Cooperation Organization summit Wednesday to finalize a plan for expanding trade and prosperity among member nations. Turkey, Iran and Pakistan founded the organization in 1985.

Pakistani state TV is providing a live telecast of the one-day conference, which elected Sharif its chairman.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan are among heads state in attendance.

Pakistan has deployed a heavy security contingent to guard Islamabad, where all offices, schools and businesses are closed for the day.

For over a decade, Pakistan has been at war with Islamic militants, who in a recent wave of suicide bombings killed over 125 people.