Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO), 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.
ECO is the successor organization of Regional Cooperation for Development (RCD) which remained in existence since 1964 up to 1979.
In 1992, the Organization was expanded to include seven new members, namely: Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, Republic of Azerbaijan, Republic of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Republic of Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Republic of Uzbekistan. The date of the Organization’s expansion to its present strength, 28th November, is being observed as the ECO Day.
The ECO region is full of bright trading prospects. Despite its young age, ECO has developed into a thriving regional organization. Its international stature is growing. Nevertheless, the organization faces daunting challenges with respect to realization of its objectives and goals. Most importantly, the region is lacking in appropriate infrastructure and institutions which the Organization is seeking to develop, on priority basis, to make full use of the available resources in the region.
Over the past 12 years the member states have been collaborating to accelerate the pace of regional development through their common endeavors. Besides shared cultural and historic affinities, they have been able to use the existing infrastructural and business links to further fortify their resolve to transfer their hopes and aspirations into a tangible reality. ECO has embarked on several projects in priority sectors of its cooperation including energy, trade, transportation, agriculture and drug control.
Current Membership: Islamic State of Afghanistan, Azerbaijan Republic, Islamic Republic of Iran, Republic of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Islamic Republic of Pakistan, Republic of Tajikistan, Republic of Turkey, Turkmenistan and Republic of Uzbekistan
Finance Source: Member contributions.
Key Executive: Secretary General.
Secretariat Staff: International staff of the General Secretariat of ECO includes the Secretary General, 3 deputy secretaries general, 6 directors, 3 assistant directors and other professionals and technical, administrative and support personnel. The total number of staff is over 60.
Click here for a brief history of Economic Cooperation Organization.
Address of Secretariat:
No. 1, Golobu Alley, Kamranieh,
P.O. Box 14155- 6176,
(+98-21) 22831733-4 & 22292066
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.
Click here for more information on ECO structure.
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
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.
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.