Economic Cooperation Organization

Last updated

Economic Cooperation Organization logo.png
Logo
Motto: "Sustainable socioeconomic development for the people of the region"
Economic Cooperation Organization map.svg
Member states of the ECO
Headquarters Tehran, Iran
Official languages English
Demonym(s) Asian
Member states
Leaders
Dr. Hadi Soleimanpour [1]
Area
 Total
7,937,197 km2 (3,064,569 sq mi)(6th)
 Water (%)
6.8
Population
 2018 estimate
488,405,949(3rd)
 Density
60/km2 (155.4/sq mi)
GDP  (PPP)2018 estimate
 Total
US $6.3 trillion [2] (4th)
 Per capita
US $13,000
GDP  (nominal)2018 estimate
 Total
US $1.8 trillion(10th)
 Per capita
US $4,000
Currency
Time zone UTC +2 to +5
Calling code
Website
www.eco.int

The Economic Cooperation Organization or ECO is an Asian political and economic intergovernmental organization which was founded in 1985 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. [3] The objective is to establish a single market for goods and services, much like the European Union. [4] 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.

Asia Earths largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the Eastern and Northern Hemispheres

Asia is Earth's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the Eastern and Northern Hemispheres. It shares the continental landmass of Eurasia with the continent of Europe and the continental landmass of Afro-Eurasia with both Europe and Africa. Asia covers an area of 44,579,000 square kilometres (17,212,000 sq mi), about 30% of Earth's total land area and 8.7% of the Earth's total surface area. The continent, which has long been home to the majority of the human population, was the site of many of the first civilizations. Asia is notable for not only its overall large size and population, but also dense and large settlements, as well as vast barely populated regions. Its 4.5 billion people constitute roughly 60% of the world's population.

An intergovernmental organization or international governmental organisation (IGO) is an organization composed primarily of sovereign states, or of other intergovernmental organizations. Intergovernmental organizations are called international organizations, although that term may also include international non-governmental organization such as international nonprofit organizations or multinational corporations.

Tehran Capital and largest city of Iran

Tehran is the capital of Iran and Tehran Province. With a population of around 8.7 million in the city and 15 million in the larger metropolitan area of Greater Tehran, Tehran is the most populous city in Iran and Western Asia, and has the second-largest metropolitan area in the Middle East. It is ranked 24th in the world by the population of its metropolitan area.

Contents

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[ dubious ] in 2017. [5] Likewise the Pakistan-Turkey Free Trade Agreement is due to be signed[ dubious ]. [6] 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. [7] This is in addition to the Ashgabat agreement which is a multi-modal transport agreement between the Central Asian states. [8]

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. [9]

The Iran–Pakistan gas pipeline, also known as the Peace pipeline, or IP Gas, is an under-construction 2,775-kilometre (1,724 mi) pipeline to deliver natural gas from Iran to Pakistan.

The Tabriz–Ankara pipeline is a 2,577-kilometre (1,601 mi) long natural gas pipeline, which runs from Tabriz in North-West Iran to Ankara in Turkey.

Persian Pipeline, also known as the Pars Pipeline and Iran–Europe pipeline, is a proposed natural gas pipeline to transfer Iranian gas from the Persian Gulf to European markets.

History

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. [10] ECO Trade Promotion Organization (TPO) is a new organization for trade promotion among member states located in Iran (2009). [11] Under the agreement reached between ECO members, the common trade market should be established by 2015. [4]

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.

Afghanistan A landlocked south-central Asian country

Afghanistan, officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country located in South-Central Asia. Afghanistan is bordered by Pakistan in the south and east; Iran in the west; Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan in the north; and in the far northeast, China. Much of its 652,000 square kilometers (252,000 sq mi) is covered by the Hindu Kush mountain range at the western end of the Himalayas, separating the Amu Darya and Indus valleys. Kabul is the capital and largest city.

Azerbaijan Country in the South Caucasus

Azerbaijan, officially the Republic of Azerbaijan, is a country in the South Caucasus region of Eurasia at the crossroads of Eastern Europe and Western Asia. It is bounded by the Caspian Sea to the east, Russia to the north, Georgia to the northwest, Armenia to the west and Iran to the south. The exclave of Nakhchivan is bounded by Armenia to the north and east, Iran to the south and west, and has an 11 km (6.8 mi) long border with Turkey in the northwest.

Official names

The official working language of the Economic Cooperation Organization is English. The official names of the organization are:

A working language is a language that is given a unique legal status in a supranational company, society, state or other body or organization as its primary means of communication. It is primarily the language of the daily correspondence and conversation, since the organization usually has members with various differing language backgrounds.

Objectives & Principles of Cooperation

Membership

Full members

NamePopulation
(2018, millions) [12]
Area [13] Population
density
GDP
(2018, nominal,
US$ billions)
[12]
GDP per capita
(2018, nominal, US$) [12]
GDP
(2018, PPP,
Int$ billions)
[12]
GDP per capita
(2018, PPP, Int$) [12]
Current account balance
(2018, US$ billions) [12]
Flag of Afghanistan.svg  Afghanistan 36.020652,230 km2
(251,830 sq mi)
55.23/km2
(143.0/sq mi)
20.367565.42672.6972,018.2281.048
Flag of Azerbaijan.svg  Azerbaijan 9.94086,600 km2
(33,400 sq mi)
114.78/km2
(297.3/sq mi)
45.5924,586.771178.47017,954.8633.020
Flag of Iran.svg  Iran 82.3601,648,195 km2
(636,372 sq mi)
49.97/km2
(129.4/sq mi)
430.0825,221.9741,652.88820,069.0735.792
Flag of Kazakhstan.svg  Kazakhstan 18.4632,724,900 km2
(1,052,100 sq mi)
6.78/km2
(17.6/sq mi)
184.2099,977.414507.62727,494.808-0.281
Flag of Kyrgyzstan.svg  Kyrgyzstan 6.389199,951 km2
(77,202 sq mi)
31.95/km2
(82.8/sq mi)
8.0131,254.13524.3563,812.161-0.983
Flag of Pakistan.svg  Pakistan 200.960796,095 km2
(307,374 sq mi)
252.43/km2
(653.8/sq mi)
306.8971,527.1571,148.2905,714.025-18.171
Flag of Tajikistan.svg  Tajikistan 9.107144,100 km2
(55,600 sq mi)
63.20/km2
(163.7/sq mi)
7.350807.05030.5473,354.156-0.345
Flag of Turkey.svg  Turkey 81.867783,562 km2
(302,535 sq mi)
104.48/km2
(270.6/sq mi)
713.5138,715.5132,314.39828,270.226-40.687
Flag of Turkmenistan.svg  Turkmenistan 5.770488,100 km2
(188,500 sq mi)
11.82/km2
(30.6/sq mi)
42.7647,411.877112.65919,526.084-3.498
Flag of Uzbekistan.svg  Uzbekistan 32.657447,400 km2
(172,700 sq mi)
72.99/km2
(189.0/sq mi)
43.3031,326.002239.6237,337.557-0.217
10 total483.5337,971,133 km2
(3,077,672 sq mi)
60.66/km2
(157.1/sq mi)
1,802.0903,726.9226,281.55512,990.954-54.322

Observers

Structure

Council of Ministers

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.

Council of Permanent Representatives

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.

Regional Planning Council

The Regional Planning Council (RPC) is composed of the Head of the Planning Organization of member states or such other representatives of corresponding authorities.

General Secretariat

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

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:

Summits and General Secretaries

Heads of State summits

MeetingDateCountryLocation
1st 16-17 February 1992Flag of Iran.svg  Iran Tehran
2nd 6-7 May 1993Flag of Turkey.svg  Turkey Istanbul
3rd 14-15 May 1995Flag of Pakistan.svg  Pakistan Islamabad
4th 14 May 1996Flag of Turkmenistan (1992-1997).svg  Turkmenistan Ashgabat
Extraordinary 14 May 1997Flag of Turkmenistan (1997-2001).svg  Turkmenistan Ashgabat
5th 11 May 1998Flag of Kazakhstan.svg  Kazakhstan Almaty
6th10 June 2000Flag of Iran.svg  Iran Tehran
7th14 October 2002Flag of Turkey.svg  Turkey Istanbul
8th14 September 2004Flag of Tajikistan.svg  Tajikistan Dushanbe
9th5 May 2006Flag of Azerbaijan.svg  Azerbaijan Baku
10th11 March 2009Flag of Iran.svg  Iran Tehran
11th23 December 2010Flag of Turkey.svg  Turkey Istanbul
12th 16 October 2012Flag of Azerbaijan.svg  Azerbaijan Baku
13th 1 March 2017 [15] [16] Flag of Pakistan.svg  Pakistan Islamabad

List of General Secretaries

#NameNationalityPeriod
1 Alireza Salari [17] Flag of Iran.svg  Iran August 1988 - July 1992
2 Shamshad Ahmad Flag of Pakistan.svg  PAK August 1992 - July 1996
3 Önder Özar  [ tr ]Flag of Turkey.svg  Turkey August 1996 - July 2000
4 Abdolrahim Gavahi  [ fa ]Flag of Iran.svg  Iran August 2000 - July 2002
5 Seyed Mojtaba Arastou Flag of Iran.svg  Iran August 2002 - July 2003
6 Bekzhassar Narbayev Flag of Kazakhstan.svg  Kazakhstan August 2003 - January 2004
7 Askhat Orazbay Flag of Uzbekistan.svg  Uzbekistan February 2004 - July 2006
8Khurshid AnwarFlag of Pakistan.svg  PAK August 2006 - July 2009
9 Yahya Maroofi Flag of Afghanistan.svg  Afghanistan August 2009 - July 2012
10 Shamil Alaskerov Flag of Azerbaijan.svg  Azerbaijan August 2012 - July 2015
11 Halil Ibrahim Akca Flag of Turkey.svg  Turkey August 2015 - July 2018
12 Hadi Soleimanpour Flag of Iran.svg  Iran August 2018 - present
source ECO Secretaries General

Regional Institutions & Agencies

Azerbaijani stamp celebrating the 10th ECO summit in Azerbaijan. 10th ECO Summit Azerbaijan.jpg
Azerbaijani stamp celebrating the 10th ECO summit in Azerbaijan.

ECO Chamber of Commerce and Industry

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.

ECO Reinsurance Company

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. [18]

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 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.

ECO Trade and Development Bank

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. 11

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. [19]

Others

Relationship with other organizations

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.

Arab LeagueParliamentary Union of the OIC Member StatesOrganisation of Islamic CooperationArab Maghreb UnionAgadir AgreementCouncil of Arab Economic UnityGulf Cooperation CouncilWest African Economic and Monetary UnionEconomic Cooperation OrganizationTurkic CouncilLiptako-Gourma AuthorityLiptako-Gourma AuthorityEconomic Cooperation OrganizationAlbaniaMalaysiaAfghanistanLibyaAlgeriaTunisiaMoroccoLebanonEgyptSomaliaAzerbaijanBahrainBangladeshBeninBruneiBurkina FasoCameroonChadComorosDjiboutiGambiaGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaIndonesiaIranIraqIvory CoastJordanKazakhstanKuwaitKyrgyzstanMaldivesMaliMauritaniaMozambiqueNigerNigeriaOmanPakistanQatarSudanPalestineSurinameSyriaTajikistanTogoTurkeyTurkmenistanUgandaUnited Arab EmiratesUzbekistanYemenSenegalGabonSierra LeoneArab Maghreb UnionAgadir AgreementSaudi ArabiaEconomic Cooperation Organization
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 included in this diagram due to human rights abuses in the ongoing Syrian Civil War). vde

Leaders of ECO member states, as of 2019

See also

Related Research Articles

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Foreign relations of Uzbekistan

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