Economic Cooperation Organization

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Economic Cooperation Organization
Motto: "Sustainable socio-economic development for people of the region"
Member states of the ECO
Member states of the ECO
Headquarters Iran Tehran, Iran
Official language English
Type Cooperation
Membership 10 member states
 -  Secretary General Azerbaijan Shamil Aleskerov
Establishment 1985
 -  Total 7,937,197 km2
3,064,568.90 sq mi
 -  2010 estimate 416,046,863
 -  Density 651/km2
1,686.1/sq mi
GDP (PPP) 2010 (IMF) estimate
 -  Total $2,697,037 million
 -  Per capita $6,483

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.[1] 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.[2] The organization was founded by Turkey, Iran and Pakistan. ECO's Charter was signed on 15 March 1995 in Islamabad, Pakistan.

History and role[edit]

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, 28 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.[3] ECO Trade Promotion Organization (TPO) is a new organization for trade promotion among member states located in Iran (2009).[4]

Under the agreement reached between ECO members, the common trade market should be established by 2015.[5]

Member states[edit]

Official Name
Area (km²)
(per km²)
GDP (2010)(nominal)[6]
GDP (2010)
(per capita)[7]

Official languages
Afghanistan Islamic Republic of Afghanistan Kabul 647,500 29,662,000 46 $21,747 million $695 Afghani Eastern Persian, Pashto
Azerbaijan Republic of Azerbaijan Baku 86,600 9,040,000 104 $62,321 million $10,782 Manat Azerbaijani
Iran Islamic Republic of Iran Tehran 1,648,195 75,350,000 46 $402,700 million $5,160 Rial Persian
Kazakhstan Republic of Kazakhstan Astana 2,724,900 15,584,000 6 $224,415 million $13,509 Tenge Kazakh, Russian
Kyrgyzstan Kyrgyz Republic Bishkek 199,900 5,444,000 27 $5,122 million $940 Som Kyrgyz, Russian
Pakistan Islamic Republic of Pakistan Islamabad 796,095 180,440,005 207 $236,518 million $1,295 Rupee Urdu, English
Tajikistan Republic of Tajikistan Dushanbe 143,100 6,536,000 46 $5,499 million $841 Somoni Tajik Persian
Turkey Republic of Turkey Ankara 783,562 71,428,000 91 $731,144 million[8] $13,178 Turkish Lira Turkish
Turkmenistan Turkmenistan Ashgabat 488,100 5,439,000 11 $20,232 million $3,720 Manat Turkmen
Uzbekistan Republic of Uzbekistan Tashkent 447,400 28,246,000 63 $37,290 million $1,320 Som Uzbek
Northern Cyprus Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (Observer) North Nicosia 3,355 294,906 86 $3,900 million $16,158 Turkish Lira Turkish

Organization structure[edit]

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) consists 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.


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[edit]

  • 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[edit]

Azerbaijani stamp celebrating the 10th ECO summit in Azerbaijan.

ECO Chamber of Commerce and Industry[edit]

ECO-CCI was established on 10 June 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 20 April 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[edit]

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.[9]

ECO Consultancy & Engineering Company[edit]

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[edit]

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)[edit]

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. [10]


  • 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[edit]

Arab League Parliamentary Union of the OIC Member States Organisation of Islamic Cooperation Arab Maghreb Union Agadir Agreement Council of Arab Economic Unity Gulf Cooperation Council West African Economic and Monetary Union Economic Cooperation Organization Turkic Council Liptako-Gourma Authority Liptako-Gourma Authority Economic Cooperation Organization Albania Malaysia Afghanistan Libya Algeria Tunisia Morocco Lebanon Egypt Somalia Azerbaijan Bahrain Bangladesh Benin Brunei Burkina Faso Cameroon Chad Comoros Djibouti Gambia Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Indonesia Iran Iraq Ivory Coast Jordan Kazakhstan Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Maldives Mali Mauritania Mozambique Niger Nigeria Oman Pakistan Qatar Sudan Palestine Suriname Syria Tajikistan Togo Turkey Turkmenistan Uganda United Arab Emirates Uzbekistan Yemen Senegal Gabon Sierra Leone Arab Maghreb Union Agadir Agreement Saudi Arabia
A clickable Euler diagram showing the relationships between various multinational organisations within the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (note that Syria is currently suspended from all organizations it is included in on this diagram, due to human rights abuses in the ongoing Syrian civil war).vde

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[edit]

# Name Nat Period
1 Alireza Salari[11] Iran 1988 - 1992
2 Shamshad Ahmad Pakistan 1992 - 1996
3 Onder Ozar Turkey 1996 - 2000
4 Abdolrahim Gavahi Iran August 2000 - July 2002
5 Seyed Mojtaba Arastou Iran July 2002 - August 2003
6 Bekzhassar Narbayev Kazakhstan August 2003 - January 2004
7 Askhat Orazbay Kazakhstan January 2004 - August 2006
8 Khurshid Anwar Pakistan August 2006 - August 2009
9 Yahya Maroofi Afghanistan August 2009 - August 2012
10 Shamil Aleskerov Azerbaijan August 2012 - August 2015
source ECO Secretaries General

See also[edit]


External links[edit]