Economic Cooperation Organization
Infobox Geopolitical organisation
name = Economic Cooperation Organization
linking_name = the Economic Cooperation Organization
membership = 10 member states
admin_center_type = Headquarters
admin_center = flagicon|Iran
leader_title1 = Secretary General
Mr. Khurshid Anwar
population_estimate = 473,068,760
population_estimate_year = 2007
official_website = [http://www.ecosecretariat.org/Fist_pag.htm]
The Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) is an intergovernmental
international organizationinvolving seven Asian and three European nations. It provides a platform to discuss ways to improve development and promote trade, and investment opportunities. The nations involved are Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistanand Uzbekistan. The common objective is to establish a single marketfor 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 area is 8,620,697 km2.
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 1962, 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 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 2003in Islamabad. [ [http://www.worldtradelaw.net/fta/agreements/ecota.pdf ECOTA ] ]
The following organs exist:
* The Council of Ministers, which is the highest policy-making body and composed of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the member-states, or other ministerial-level officials. It meets at least once a year.
* The Council of Permanent Representatives, is composed of the ambassadors of the other nine member states to Iran, plus the Director General for ECO Affairs in the Foreign Affairs Ministry of Iran.
* The Regional Planning Council
* The General Secretariat, consisting of six Directorates under the supervision of the Secretary General.
** Directorate of
** Directorate of
** Directorate of
Energy, Minerals& Environment
** Directorate of
** Directorate of
EconomicResearch & Statistics
** Directorate of Project
Two specialised agencies and two regional institutes also function under the supervision of the General Secretariat.
The Economic Cooperation Organization 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 mission of the ECO Trade & Development Bank is to initiate, to promote and to provide financial facilities to expand intra-regional trade and to promote the economic development of ECO member countries.
ECO Cultural Institute (ECI)
ECO Cultural Institute (ECI) is affiliated with ECO and aims at fostering understanding and the preservation of the rich
cultural heritageof its members through common projects in the field of the media, literature, art, philosophy, sportand education.
ECI's Charter was signed on 15 March, 1995 in
Relationship with other organizations
All the ECO states are also member-states of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), while ECO itself has observer status in the OIC since
* [http://www.ecosecretariat.org/ ECO's official website]
* [http://www.ecieco.org/ ECO's Cultural Institute]
* [http://www.etdb.org/ ECO's Trade and Development Bank]
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