Economic Cooperation Organization
  • Azerbaijani: İqtisadi Əməkdaşlıq Təşkilatı
    Kazakh: Экономикалық Ынтымақтастық Ұйымы
    Kyrgyz: Экономикалык Кызматташтык Уюму
    د اقتصادي او همکاريو سازمان
    سازمان همکاری اقتصادی
    Tajik: Ташкилоти ҳамкории иқтисодӣ
    Turkish: Ekonomik İşbirliği Teşkilatı
    Turkmen: Ykdysady Hyzmatdaşlyk Guramasy
    اقتصادی تعاون تنظیم
    Uzbek: Iqtisodiy Hamkorlik Tashkiloti
Logo of Economic Cooperation Organization Azerbaijani: İqtisadi Əməkdaşlıq Təşkilatı Kazakh: Экономикалық Ынтымақтастық Ұйымы Kyrgyz: Экономикалык Кызматташтык Уюму Pashto: د اقتصادي او همکاريو سازمان Persian: سازمان همکاری اقتصادی Tajik: Ташкилоти ҳамкории иқтисодӣ Turkish: Ekonomik İşbirliği Teşkilatı Turkmen: Ykdysady Hyzmatdaşlyk Guramasy Urdu: اقتصادی تعاون تنظیم Uzbek: Iqtisodiy Hamkorlik Tashkiloti
Motto: "Sustainable socioeconomic development for the people of the region"
Member states of the ECO
Member states of the ECO
HeadquartersTehran, Iran
Official languagesEnglish
Member states
Khusrav Noziri
• Total
8,208,600 km2 (3,169,400 sq mi)
• 2023 estimate
• Density
72/km2 (186.5/sq mi)
GDP (PPP)2023 estimate
• Total
US$10 trillion[2]
• Per capita
GDP (nominal)2023 estimate
• Total
US$3.8 trillion
• Per capita
HDI (2023)0.781
10 currencies
Time zoneUTC+2 to +5
Calling code

The Economic Cooperation Organization or ECO is a Eurasian political and economic intergovernmental organization that 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] After the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the ECO expanded to include Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan in 1992.

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. That 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 between Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. Pakistan has free trade agreements with both Afghanistan and Iran which are in the process of implementation.

In 2017, a free trade agreement between Turkey and Iran was proposed to be signed in the future,[5] in addition to a proposed Pakistan-Turkey Free Trade Agreement.[6] The Afghanistan-Pakistan Transit Trade Agreement is designed to facilitate trade for goods and services for Central Asia via both Afghanistan and Pakistan.[7] That 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 Central Asian states such as Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan to supply the industrialisation underway in Iran, Pakistan, Turkey, and beyond. Pakistan plans to diversify its source of oil and gas supplies towards the Central Asian states including petroleum import contracts with Azerbaijan.[9]

The ECO's secretariat and cultural department are in Iran, its economic bureau is in Turkey, and its scientific bureau is in Pakistan.


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]

Official names

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

Objectives and principles


Full members

Name Population
(2023, millions)[12]
Area[13] Population
(2023, nominal,
US$ billions)
GDP per capita
(2023, nominal, US$)[12]
(2023, PPP,
Int$ billions)
GDP per capita
(2023, PPP, Int$)[12]
Current account balance
(2018, US$ billions)[12]
 Afghanistan[a] 32.2 million 652,230 km2
(251,830 sq mi)
(143.0/sq mi)
13.1 billion 565.426 70 billion 2,018.228 1.048
 Azerbaijan 10.1 million 86,600 km2
(33,400 sq mi)
(297.3/sq mi)
75.4 billion 4,586.771 220 billion 17,954.863 3.020
 Iran 88.3 million 1,648,195 km2
(636,372 sq mi)
(129.4/sq mi)
366.7 billion 5,221.974 1.78 trillion 20,069.073 5.792
 Kazakhstan 22.4 million 2,724,900 km2
(1,052,100 sq mi)
(17.6/sq mi)
259.2 billion 9,977.414 623 billion 27,494.808 -0.281
 Kyrgyzstan 6.8 million 199,951 km2
(77,202 sq mi)
(82.8/sq mi)
18.3 billion 1,254.135 55 billion 3,812.161 -0.983
 Pakistan 231.5 million 881,913 km2
(340,509 sq mi)
(667/sq mi)
528.8 billion 2,652 1.92 trillion 7,500 -18.171
 Tajikistan 9.7 million 144,100 km2
(55,600 sq mi)
(163.7/sq mi)
15.4 billion 807.050 87 billion 3,354.156 -0.345
 Turkey 83.2 million 783,562 km2
(302,535 sq mi)
(270.6/sq mi)
1.154 trillion 13,383 3.62 trillion 37,488 -40.687
 Turkmenistan 7.1 million 488,100 km2
(188,500 sq mi)
(30.6/sq mi)
81.8 billion 7,411.877 154 billion 19,526.084 -3.498
 Uzbekistan 35.5 million 447,400 km2
(172,700 sq mi)
(189.0/sq mi)
90.4 billion 1,326.002 300 billion 7,337.557 -0.217
10 total 566.8 million 7,971,133 km2
(3,077,672 sq mi)
(157.1/sq mi)
2.61 trillion 3,726.922 8.83 trillion 12,990.954 -54.322



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 Heads of the Planning Organizations of member states or 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 of ECO are conducted through directorates under the supervision of Secretary-General and his Deputies which consider and evolve projects and programs of mutual benefit in the fields of:

A Transport Council to develop clearer transport and transit policies is proposed.[16]

ECO has selected Shakhrisabz as its tourism capital for 2024.[17]

Summits and General Secretaries

World leaders gathering for the 13th ECO Summit

Heads of State summits

Meeting Date(s) Country Location
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
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[18][19]  Pakistan Islamabad
14th 4 March 2021  Turkey Virtual
15th 28 November 2021  Turkmenistan Ashgabat[20]
16th November 2023  Uzbekistan Tashkent

List of General Secretaries

No. Name Nationality Period
1 Alireza Salari[21]  Iran August 1988 – July 1992
2 Shamshad Ahmad  Pakistan August 1992 – July 1996
3 Önder Özar [tr]  Turkey August 1996 – July 2000
4 Abdolrahim Gavahi [fa]  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  Pakistan 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 – 2021
13 Khusrav Noziri  Tajikistan August 2021 – present
source ECO Secretaries General

Regional Institutions & Agencies

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.[22]

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.[23]


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 OrganizationOrganization of Turkic StatesLiptako–Gourma AuthorityLiptako–Gourma AuthorityEconomic Cooperation OrganizationAlbaniaMalaysiaAfghanistanLibyaAlgeriaTunisiaMoroccoLebanonEgyptSomaliaAzerbaijanBahrainBangladeshBeninBruneiBurkina FasoCameroonChadComorosDjiboutiGambiaGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaIndonesiaIranIraqIvory CoastJordanKazakhstanKuwaitKyrgyzstanMaldivesMaliMauritaniaMozambiqueNigerNigeriaOmanPakistanQatarSudanPalestineSurinameSyriaTajikistanTogoTurkeyTurkmenistanUgandaUnited Arab EmiratesUzbekistanYemenSierra LeoneGabonSenegalArab Maghreb UnionAgadir AgreementSaudi 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 affiliated with the OIC due to human rights abuses in the ongoing Syrian civil war).vde

Leaders of ECO member states, as of 2022

Leaders are either heads of state or heads of government, depending on which is constitutionally the chief executive of the nation's government.

See also


  1. ^ a b c Since the return to power by the Afghan Taliban over the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan was not present at the 15th ECO summit held in November 2021.[1]


  1. ^ "Heads of State at ECO Summit Discuss Afghanistan Crisis". TOLOnews. 29 November 2021. Retrieved 23 December 2021.
  2. ^ "Report for Selected Countries and Subjects".
  3. ^ United Nations Charter (Chapter VIII).
  4. ^ a b "Official: Iran's share of ECO trade stands at $10 billion - Tehran Times". Archived from the original on 2 May 2013.
  5. ^ "Turkey hopes to sign free trade agreement with Iran". 4 January 2017.
  6. ^ "Pakistan-Turkey sixth round of talks on FTA next week".
  7. ^ Center, Asia Regional Integration. "Pakistan-Turkey Preferential Trade Agreement Free Trade Agreement".
  8. ^ "Pakistan announces to join Ashgabat Agreement, Lapis Lazuli Corridor". Dunya News.
  9. ^ "Away from Gulf, Pakistan set to import oil, gas from Central Asia". The Express Tribune. 4 February 2017.
  10. ^ "ECOTA" (PDF). Retrieved 9 February 2012.
  11. ^ [1] Archived 2 May 2009 at the Wayback Machine
  12. ^ a b c d e f "Report for Selected Countries and Subjects". World Economic Outlook Database. International Monetary Fund. 9 February 2019. Archived from the original on 9 February 2019. Retrieved 9 February 2019.
  13. ^ "Country Comparison – Area". CIA World Factbook. Central Intelligence Agency. Archived from the original on 8 February 2019. Retrieved 9 February 2019.
  14. ^ a b c "Observers". ECO.
  15. ^ "ECO Secretary General Meets the Representatives of Turkish Cyprus State in Tehran". ECO. 25 February 2014. Archived from the original on 2 February 2016.((cite web)): CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  16. ^ "Kazakh Prime Minister Proposes to Revive Silk Way at 15th ECO Summit in Ashgabat". The Astana Times.
  17. ^ "ECO declares Shakhrisabz as its tourism capital for 2024". Retrieved 18 December 2022.
  18. ^ "Public Holiday In Islamabad and Rawalpindi On 1 March Due To ECO Summit 2017". Archived from the original on 28 February 2017.
  19. ^ "Pakistan to host 13th ECO Summit in Islamabad next week". Dawn. 25 February 2017. Archived from the original on 28 February 2017. Retrieved 25 February 2017.
  20. ^ "15TH ECO SUMMIT, November 28, 2021 Ashgabat, Turkmenistan". Archived from the original on 28 April 2022. Retrieved 20 March 2022.
  21. ^ "ECO Secretary Generals". ECO. Archived from the original on 6 July 2010. Retrieved 9 February 2012.((cite web)): CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  22. ^ "Leading News Resource of Pakistan". Daily Times. 11 February 2010. Retrieved 9 February 2012.
  23. ^ "ECO Cultural Institute's Medals". Retrieved 31 October 2014.