Economic Cooperation Organization
Economic Cooperation Organization
|Motto: "Sustainable socio-economic development for people of the region"|
Member states of the ECO
|Membership||10 member states|
|-||Secretary General||Shamil Aleskerov|
3,064,568.90 sq mi
|GDP (PPP)||2010 (IMF) estimate|
The Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) is an intergovernmental organization involving seven Asian and three Eurasian nations, part of the South-central Asian Union. It provides a platform to discuss ways to improve development and promote trade, and investment opportunities. The ECO is an ad hoc organization under the United Nations Charter (Chap. VIII). The common objective is to establish a single market for goods and services, much like the European Union. ECO's secretariat and cultural department are located in Tehran, its economic bureau is in Turkey and its scientific bureau is situated in Pakistan. The organization's population is 416,046,863 and the area is 8,620,697 km². The organization was founded by Turkey, Iran and Pakistan. ECI's Charter was signed on 15 March 1995 in Islamabad, Pakistan.
History and role 
Economic Cooperation Organization is an intergovernmental regional organization established in 1985 by Iran, Pakistan and Turkey for the purpose of promoting economic, technical and cultural cooperation among the member states. It was the successor organisation of what was the Regional Cooperation for Development (RCD), founded in 1964, which ended activities in 1979. In the fall of 1992, the ECO expanded to include seven new members, namely Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.The date of the Organization’s expansion to its present strength, 28th November, is being observed as the ECO Day.
The status and power of the ECO is growing. However, the organization faces many challenges. Most importantly, the member states are lacking appropriate infrastructure and institutions which the Organization is primarily seeking to develop, to make full use of the available resources in the region and provide sustainable development for the member nations.
The Economic Cooperation Organisation Trade Agreement (ECOTA) was signed on 17 July 2003 in Islamabad. ECO Trade Promotion Organization (TPO) is a new organization for trade promotion among member states located in Iran (2009).
Under the agreement reached between ECO members, the common trade market should be established by 2015.
Member states 
|Islamic Republic of Afghanistan||Kabul||647,500||29,662,000||46||$18,181 million||$956||Afghani||Eastern Persian, Pashto|
|Republic of Azerbaijan||Baku||86,600||9,040,000||104||$62,321 million||$10,782||Manat||Azerbaijani|
|Islamic Republic of Iran||Tehran||1,648,195||75,350,000||46||$359,970 million||$4,777||Rial||Persian|
|Republic of Kazakhstan||Astana||2,724,900||15,584,000||6||$126,346 million||$8,107||Tenge||Kazakh, Russian|
|Kyrgyz Republic||Bishkek||199,900||5,444,000||27||$5,122 million||$940||Som||Kyrgyz, Russian|
|Islamic Republic of Pakistan||Islamabad||803,940||166,578,000||207||$177,901 million||$1,068||Rupee||Urdu, English|
|Republic of Tajikistan||Dushanbe||143,100||6,536,000||46||$5,499 million||$841||Somoni||Tajik|
|Republic of Turkey||Ankara||783,562||71,428,000||91||$1,123.380 billion||$15,001||Turkish Lira||Turkish|
|Republic of Uzbekistan||Tashkent||447,400||28,246,000||63||$37,290 million||$1,320||Som||Uzbek|
|Turkish Cypriot State (Observer)||North Nicosia||3,355||294,906||86||$3,900 million||$16,158||Turkish Lira||Turkish|
Organization structure 
The following organs exist:
- The Council of Ministers ( COM ) is the highest policy and decision-making body and is composed of Ministers of Foreign Affairs or such other representatives of the Ministerial rank as may be designated by the Government. The council of Ministers meets at least once a year by rotation among the Member States.
- The Council of Permanent Representatives (CPR) is consisting of the Permanent Representatives/Ambassadors of the Member States accredited to the Islamic Republic of Iran as well as to the ECO and the Director General for ECO Affairs of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Iran.
- The Regional Planning Council (RPC) is composed of the Head of the Planning Organization of the Member States or such other representatives of corresponding authorities.
- The General Secretariat consists of six Directorates under the supervision of the Secretary General and his Deputies. Two Specialized Agencies and six Regional Institutes are acting under the supervision of the General Secretariat.
Activities of ECO are conducted through Directorates under the supervision of Secretary General and his Deputies which considered and evolve projects and programmes of mutual benefit in the fields of:
- Trade and Investment
- Transport and Telecommunications
- Energy, Minerals and Environment
- Agriculture, Industry and Tourism
- Human Resources & Sustainable Development
- Project & Economic Research and Statistics
- Sustainable economic development of Member States;
- Progressive removal of trade barriers and promotion of intra- regional trade; Greater role of ECO region in the growth of world trade; Gradual integration of the economies of the Member States with the world economy;
- Development of transport & communications infrastructure linking the Member States with each other and with the outside world;
- Economic liberalization and privatization;
- Mobilization and utilization of ECO region's material resources;
- Effective utilization of the agricultural and industrial potentials of ECO region;
- Regional cooperation for drug abuse control, ecological and environmental protection and strengthening of historical and cultural ties among the peoples of the ECO region; and
- Mutually beneficial cooperation with regional and international organizations.
Principles of cooperation 
- Sovereign equality of the Member States and mutual advantage;
- Linking of national economic, development plans with ECO's immediate and long-term objectives to the extent possible;
- Joint efforts to gain freer access to markets outside the ECO region for the raw materials and finished products of the Member States;
- Effective utilization of ECO institutions, agreements and cooperative arrangements with other regional and international organizations including multilateral financial institutions;
- Common endeavors to develop a harmonized approach for participation in regional and global arrangements;
- Realization of economic cooperation strategy; and Exchanges in educational, scientific, technical and cultural fields
Regional institutions and specialized agencies 
ECO Chamber of Commerce and Industry 
ECO-CCI was established on June 10, 1993. Its objectives are to contribute to enhance economic cooperation and relations in trade, industry, agriculture, tourism, contracting, engineering and banking sectors as well as to realize joint investments among the Member States. National Chambers of Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Tajikistan and Turkey are member of ECO-CCI. The 7th General Assembly Meeting of ECO Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ECO-CCI), held on April 20, 2004 in Kabul, Afghanistan. The participating member states offered some proposals for developing new mechanism and modalities for better interaction between member chambers and to re-activate ECO-CCI.
ECO Reinsurance Company 
In March 1995, Iran, Pakistan and Turkey agreed to establish ECO Reinsurance Company. The purpose is supplement the existing reinsurance services in the region, promote growth of the national underwriting and retention capacities, minimize the outflow of foreign exchange from the region and to support economic development in the region. The three member countries decided to form a Trilateral Interim Committee to pave the way for the establishment of this important institution. The Trilateral Interim Committee in its various meetings reviewed the relevant issues such as the development of the business plan and signing of the Articles of Agreement already finalized by a group of Experts from the three founding member countries.
ECO Consultancy & Engineering Company 
Governments of all the ECO Member States has established a central resource pool in the shape of ECO Consultancy and Engineering Company (Pvt.) Ltd., or ECO-CEC, to assist in the development projects sponsored by ECO Member States or by its Trade and Development Bank. The founder States are Islamic Republic of Iran, Islamic Republic of Pakistan and Republic of Turkey which hold an equal share in ECO-CEC, Turkey being represented by two companies and Iran and Pakistan, by one each. The Iranian and Turkish Companies specialize mainly in oil and gas pipelines, refineries, petrochemical and industrial engineering, while the Pakistani partner in all other fields of development engineering, including communications, power, urban development public health, telecommunications, water resources development and agriculture. ECO-CEC provides its expertise in the entire range of consultancy operations, starting from conception, project planning and appraisal, through pre-feasibility, feasibility and financial studies, investigation and exploration, site selection to engineering design, material and equipment specifications, construction supervision, contract management, quality control and preparation of technical manuals for the operation and maintenance of the projects.
ECO Trade and Development Bank 
The Economic Cooperation Organization Trade and Development Bank (the Bank) was established by the three founding members of the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) in 2005; Iran, Pakistan and Turkey. Its subscribed capital is 300 million SDR, which is to be paid by the member countries equally. For the first five years starting from November 2006, the first President of the Bank is from Turkey (Mr. Murat Ulus) and the position of the President will pass to other member countries on a four-year rotation basis after the first five years. The headquarters of the Bank is in Istanbul, Turkey. The Bank has successfully started its operations in 2008. The representative offices of the Bank in Tehran and Karachi are fully functional. The primary objective of the Bank is to provide financial resources for projects and programmes in member countries. The Bank offers a range of medium-to-long term products i.e. project finance, corporate finance, trade finance and loans to support small and medium-sized enterprises directly or through financial intermediaries to private and state owned entities
ECO Cultural Institute (ECI) 
ECO Cultural Institute (ECI) is affiliated with ECO and aims at fostering understanding and the preservation of the rich cultural heritage of its members through common projects in the field of the media, literature, art, philosophy, sport and education.
- ECO Supreme Audit Institutions
- ECO Cultural Institute
- ECO Science Foundation
- ECO Educational Institute
- ECO Drug Control Coordination Unit
- ECO Trade promotion Unit
- ECO Post
- ECO Shipping Company
Relationship with other organizations 
All the ECO states are also member-states of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC), while ECO itself has observer status in the OIC since 1995.
Secretaries General 
|1||Alireza Salari||1988 - 1992|
|2||Shamshad Ahmad||1992 - 1996|
|3||Onder Ozar||1996 - 2000|
|4||Abdolrahim Gavahi||August 2000 - July 2002|
|5||Seyed Mojtaba Arastou||July 2002 - August 2003|
|6||Bekzhassar Narbayev||August 2003 - January 2004|
|7||Askhat Orazbay||January 2004 - August 2006|
|8||Khurshid Anwar||August 2006 - August 2009|
|9||Yahya Maroofi||August 2009 - August 2012|
|10||Shamil Aleskerov||August 2012 - August 2015|
See also 
- Gul Train Malik Amjad: A project of ECO
- Middle East economic integration
- International rankings of Iran
- White card system - motor insurance scheme of ECO
- "Population in ECO Member States". Ecosecretariat.org. Retrieved 2012-02-09.
- "ECOTA" (PDF). Retrieved 2012-02-09.
- [dead link]
- "Report for Selected Countries and Subjects". Imf.org. 2006-09-14. Retrieved 2012-02-09.
- Data refer to the year 2010. 
- . World Economic Outlook Database http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/weo/2013/01/weodata/weorept.aspx?pr.x=63&pr.y=6&sy=2012&ey=2012&scsm=1&ssd=1&sort=country&ds=.&br=1&c=186&s=NGDPD%2CNGDPDPC%2CPPPGDP%2CPPPPC&grp=0&a=. Retrieved 21 April 2013. Missing or empty
- "Leading News Resource of Pakistan". Daily Times. 2010-02-11. Retrieved 2012-02-09.
- "ECO Secretary Generals". Ecosecretariat.org. Retrieved 2012-02-09.
- ECO's Website
- ECO's Cultural Institute
- ECO's Trade and Development Bank
- ECO's Drug Control Coordination Unit
- ECO's Trade promotion Unit
- ECO's Post