The Economic Cooperation Organization or ECO is a Eurasian political and economic intergovernmental organization which was founded in 1984 in Tehran by the leaders of Iran, Pakistan, and Turkey. It provides a platform to discuss ways to improve development and promote trade and investment opportunities. The ECO is an ad hoc organisation under the United Nations Charter. The objective is to establish a single market for goods and services, much like the European Union. The ECO's secretariat and cultural department are located in Iran, its economic bureau is in Turkey and its scientific bureau is situated in Pakistan.
The nature of the ECO is that it consists of predominantly Muslim-majority states as it is a trade bloc for the Central Asian states connected to the Mediterranean through Turkey, to the Persian Gulf via Iran, and to the Arabian sea via Pakistan. The current framework of the ECO expresses itself mostly in the form of bilateral agreements and arbitration mechanisms between individual and fully sovereign member states. This makes the ECO similar to ASEAN in that it is an organisation that has its own offices and bureaucracy for implementation of trade amongst sovereign member states.
This consists of the historically integrated agricultural region of the Ferghana Valley which allows for trade and common agricultural production in the border region of Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan. Free trade agreements between the industrial nations of Iran and Turkey are due to be signed in 2017. Likewise the Pakistan-Turkey Free Trade Agreement is due to be signed. Pakistan has free trade agreements with both Afghanistan and Iran which are signed and are in the process of implementation, and currently most of Afghanistan trade is through Pakistan. And the Afghanistan-Pakistan Transit Trade Agreement is designed to facilitate trade for goods and services for Central Asia via both Afghanistan and Pakistan. This is in addition to the Ashgabat agreement which is a multi-modal transport agreement between the Central Asian states.
Further cooperation amongst members is planned in the form of the Iran–Pakistan gas pipeline, as well as a Turkmenistan–Afghanistan–Pakistan pipeline. Current pipelines include the Tabriz–Ankara pipeline in addition to the planned Persian Pipeline. This is in addition to the transportation of oil and gas from resource rich Central Asian states such as Kazakshtan and Turkmenistan of minerals and agriculture that complements the industrialisation underway in Iran, Pakistan and Turkey. Pakistan plans to diversify its source of oil and gas supplies towards the Central Asian states including petroleum import contracts with Azerbaijan.
Economic Cooperation Organization
Motto: "Sustainable socioeconomic development for the people of the region"
Member states of the ECO
|Dr. Hadi Soleimanpour |
|7,937,197 km2 (3,064,569 sq mi) (6th)|
• Water (%)
• 2018 estimate
|60/km2 (155.4/sq mi)|
|GDP (PPP)||2018 estimate|
|US $6.3 trillion (4th)|
• Per capita
|GDP (nominal)||2018 estimate|
|US $1.8 trillion (10th)|
• Per capita
|Time zone||UTC+2 to +5|
The Economic Cooperation Organization was the successor organisation of what was the Regional Cooperation for Development (RCD), founded in 1964, which ended activities in 1979. In 1985 Iran, Pakistan and Turkey joined to form the ECO. By the fall of 1992, the ECO expanded to include seven new members; Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. The date of the expansion to its present strength, 28 November, is referred to as "ECO Day". The status and power of the ECO is growing. However, the organisation faces many challenges. Most importantly, the member states are lacking appropriate infrastructure and institutions which the Organization is primarily seeking to develop, to make full use of the available resources in the region and provide sustainable development for the member nations. The Economic Cooperation Organisation Trade Agreement (ECOTA) was signed on 17 July 2003 in Islamabad. ECO Trade Promotion Organization (TPO) is a new organization for trade promotion among member states located in Iran (2009). Under the agreement reached between ECO members, the common trade market should be established by 2015.
The official working language of the Economic Cooperation Organization is English. The official names of the organization are:
(2018, per km²)
(2018, nominal, US$ billions)
|GDP per capita
(2018, nominal, US$)
(2018, PPP, Int$ billions)
|GDP per capita
(2018, PPP, Int$)
|Current account balance|
(2018, US$ billions)
|Economic Cooperation Organization||7,971,133||483,533||60.66||1,802.090||3,726.922||6,281.555||12,990.954||-54.322|
The Council of Ministers (COM) is the highest policy and decision-making body and is composed of the various Ministers of Foreign Affairs or such other representatives of the ministerial rank as may be designated by the respective governments. The COM 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 member states or such other representatives of corresponding authorities.
The General Secretariat (GS) 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 GS.
Activities of ECO are conducted through directorates under the supervision of Secretary-General and his Deputies which considered and evolve projects and programs of mutual benefit in the fields of:
|1st||16-17 February 1992||Iran||Tehran|
|2nd||6-7 May 1993||Turkey||Istanbul|
|3rd||14-15 May 1995||Pakistan||Islamabad|
|4th||14 May 1996||Turkmenistan||Ashgabat|
|Extraordinary||14 May 1997||Turkmenistan||Ashgabat|
|5th||11 May 1998||Kazakhstan||Almaty|
|6th||10 June 2000||Iran||Tehran|
|7th||14 October 2002||Turkey||Istanbul|
|8th||14 September 2004||Tajikistan||Dushanbe|
|9th||5 May 2006||Azerbaijan||Baku|
|10th||11 March 2009||Iran||Tehran|
|11th||23 December 2010||Turkey||Istanbul|
|12th||16 October 2012||Azerbaijan||Baku|
|13th||1 March 2017 ||Pakistan||Islamabad|
|1||Alireza Salari||Iran||August 1988 - July 1992|
|2||Shamshad Ahmad||PAK||August 1992 - July 1996|
|3||Önder Özar||Turkey||August 1996 - July 2000|
|4||Abdolrahim Gavahi||Iran||August 2000 - July 2002|
|5||Seyed Mojtaba Arastou||Iran||August 2002 - July 2003|
|6||Bekzhassar Narbayev||Kazakhstan||August 2003 - January 2004|
|7||Askhat Orazbay||Uzbekistan||February 2004 - July 2006|
|8||Khurshid Anwar||PAK||August 2006 - July 2009|
|9||Yahya Maroofi||Afghanistan||August 2009 - July 2012|
|10||Shamil Alaskerov||Azerbaijan||August 2012 - July 2015|
|11||Halil Ibrahim Akca||Turkey||August 2015 - July 2018|
|12||Hadi Soleimanpour||Iran||August 2018 - present|
|source||ECO Secretaries General|
ECO-CCI was established on 10 June 1993. Its objectives are to contribute to enhancing 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 members 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.
In March 1995, Iran, Pakistan, and Turkey agreed to establish ECO Reinsurance Company. The purpose is to supplement the existing reinsurance services in the region, promote the 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.
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 the ECO Member States or by its Trade and Development Bank. The founder States are the Islamic Republic of Iran, Islamic Republic of Pakistan, and Republic of Turkey which holds 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.
The Economic Cooperation Organization Trade and Development Bank (ETDB) was established by the three founding members of the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) in 2005 which are the Islamic Republic of Iran, Islamic Republic of Pakistan and Republic of Turkey. The Republic of Azerbaijan, the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and the Kyrgyz Republic became the member of the ETDB in 2013, 2014 and 2015 respectively.
As of 31 December 2015, paid in the share capital of the ETDB was SDR 310,870 thousand since Azerbaijan, Afghanistan, and Kyrgyzstan are in process of payment of their paid-in capital contributions.
The Bank has successfully started its operations in 2008. Its headquarters is in Istanbul (Turkey) and representative offices are in Karachi (Pakistan) and Tehran (Iran). 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) 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.
All the ECO states are also member-states of the Organisation of the Islamic Cooperation (OIC), while ECO itself has observer status in the OIC since 1995.
The 2012 ECO summit was the twelfth Economic Cooperation Organization summit, held on 16 October 2012 in Baku, Azerbaijan.13th ECO Summit
The 2017 ECO summit was the 13th summit of the Economic Cooperation Organization, held on 1 March 2017 in Islamabad, Pakistan.The Summit was preceded by the 22nd Meeting of the ECO Council of Foreign Ministers (COM) on 28 February 2017 in Islamabad. Senior Officials from Member States met on 27 February 2017 in Islamabad and stayed for the duration of the summit.
The summit highlighted the state of affairs of ECO in the light of the new and emerging global and regional circumstances and agreed on expanding regional economic cooperation among its member states. The new ECO Vision 2025 was expanded upon and several key guidelines have been taken into account. Pakistan plans to integrate the ECO Summit members with the China–Pakistan Economic Corridor.1st ECO Summit
The 1992 ECO summit was the first Economic Cooperation Organization summit, held between 16–17 February in Tehran, Iran. The summit welcomed the admission of new members Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan as well as allowing limited participation in economic, cultural and technical activities of Northern Cyprus.2nd ECO Summit
The 1993 ECO summit was the second Economic Cooperation Organization summit, held between 6–7 May in Istanbul, Turkey. Afghanistan was welcomed as the 10th member state of the ECO during the summit.3rd ECO Summit
The 1995 ECO summit was the third Economic Cooperation Organization summit, held between 14–15 May 1995 in Islamabad, Pakistan.4th ECO Summit
The 1996 ECO summit was the fourth Economic Cooperation Organization summit, held between 14–15 May 1996 in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan.Albania–Russia relations
Albanian–Russian relations are foreign relations between the Republic of Albania and the Russian Federation. The establishment of diplomatic relations between Albania and the Soviet Union happened on April 7, 1924. Both countries were also allies in the Warsaw Pact.
Albania has an embassy in Moscow. Russia has an embassy in Tirana.
Both countries are full members of the Organization of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation, Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (Albania is a member, while Russia is an observer state), and the Council of Europe.Canada–Chile relations
Canada–Chile relations refers to the diplomatic relations between Canada and Chile. Both nations are members of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, Organization of American States and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.ECO Cup
The ECO Cup was a football competition for members of Economic Cooperation Organization. Previously it was known as RCD Cup, RCD abbreviates Regional Corporation for Development and was an economic cooperation between Iran, Pakistan and Turkey from 1964 to 1979. A new organisation, ECO, was set up in 1985. In 1992, Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Azerbaijan joined ECO.
The countries that competed in one or more tournaments are Iran, Turkey, Pakistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan. Afghanistan and Uzbekistan never participated. Also Turkey did not participate in 1993 Tournament. 1993 was the last time this tournament was held.Economic Cooperation Organization Secretariat
The Economic Cooperation Organization Secretariat is located in the Kamranieh neighborhood of Tehran, the capital city of Iran.The headquarters coordinates and monitors implementation of activities, prepares for and services meetings, and serves as a channel of communication between the Association and its Member States as well as other regional organisations. The ECO Secretariat consists of six directorates under the supervision of the Secretary General and deputies. Two specialized agencies and six regional institutes are acting under the supervision of the General Secretariat.Economic Cooperation Organization Trade Agreement
The Economic Cooperation Organization Free Trade Agreement or ECOTA was an agreement reached on 17 July 2003 at the ECO summit in Islamabad whereby a free trade region was formed between the countries of Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. As of 2008, the ECOTA is in effect.Halil İbrahim Akça
Halil İbrahim Akça is a Turkish diplomat and the 11th Secretary General of the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO).Iran–Uzbekistan relations
Iran–Uzbekistan relations refers to the diplomatic relations between the two countries, Uzbekistan and Iran, which have deep cultural and historical ties between them. Both countries are members of the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO).List of regional organizations by population
The following is a list of regional organizations by population in 2018.Organization of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation
The Organization of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC) is a regional international organization focusing on multilateral political and economic initiatives aimed at fostering cooperation, peace, stability and prosperity in the Black Sea region. It traces its origin to 25 June 1992, when Turkish President Turgut Özal and leaders of ten other countries gathered in Istanbul and signed the Summit Declaration and the "Bosphorus Statement". BSEC Headquarters – the Permanent International Secretariat of the Organization of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC PERMIS) – was established in March 1994, also in Istanbul.With the entry into force of its Charter on 1 May 1999, BSEC acquired international legal identity and was transformed into a full-fledged regional economic organization: Organization of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation. With the accession of Serbia (then Serbia and Montenegro) in April 2004, the Organization’s Member States increased to twelve.An important aspect of the activities of BSEC is the development of SME and entrepreneurship in the member countries. Concerning these issues, a series of workshops have been organized in cooperation with Konrad Adenauer Foundation and ERENET.Regional Cooperation for Development
Regional Cooperation for Development (RCD) or Organization for Regional Cooperation and Development (ORCD) was a multi-governmental organization which was originally established on the 21st of July 1964 by Iran, Pakistan and Turkey, regional members of the Central Treaty Organization (CENTO), to allow socio-economic development of the member states. In 1979, this organization was dissolved. It was replaced by Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) in 1985.
Seven new members were added: Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan.Shamshad Ahmad
Shamshad Ahmad (Urdu: شمشاد احمد) (born 10 December 1941) is a veteran Pakistani diplomat, international relations expert and an author who served as the Foreign Secretary of Pakistan from 1997 to 2000. He also served as the Permanent Representative of Pakistan to the United Nations between 2000 till 2002. Shamshad Ahmad also was the Pakistan's ambassador to South Korea and Iran.He currently writes a weekly column for English daily The News International (newspaper). Before that, he was a regular contributor to The Nation (Pakistan) (newspaper). He also writes occasionally for the Dawn (newspaper) and The Express Tribune (newspaper) – all of them Pakistani newspapers.Turkey–Turkmenistan relations
Turkey–Turkmenistan relations are foreign relations between Turkey and Turkmenistan. Turkey was the first country in the world to recognize the independence of Turkmenistan during the period of dissolution of the Soviet Union and first country that opened embassy in the newly independent country. Turkmenistan has an embassy in Ankara and a consulate general in Istanbul. Both countries are full members of the Economic Cooperation Organization, Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, International Organization of Turkic Culture and Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe. The two countries share close cultural connections. Both have a majority Sunni Muslim population, and both are predominantly inhabited by Turkic people; both the Turkish and Turkmen languages belong to the Oghuz group of Turkic languages. Turkey is one of the 47 countries in the world that holders of a Turkmen passport can visit without visa.Yahya Maroofi
Mohammad Yahya Maroofi (or Maroufi) (born March 5, 1939 in Kabul), is an ethnic Pashtun from the Barakzai tribe. His family is from District Maroof Kandahar, Afghanistan.
Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO)
Central Asian regional organizations