Economic Cooperation Organization
General information. Established as Regional Cooperation for Development (RCD) in 1964 by Iran, Pakistan and Turkey to strengthen the economic, technical and cultural cooperation among these countries the Organization was renamed as “ECO” in 1985. In 1992, 7 more countries joined the organization. Current Secretary General of the Organization is Dr. Hadi Soleimanpour.
Member States. Azerbaijan, Afghanistan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan.
Objectives. The main objectives of the organisation are stimulating economy, enhancing sustainable development of the member states, liberalizing trade and promoting internal regional trade, integrating economies of the member states to the world economy, improving transportation and communication system, liberalizing economy, efficience use of material resources of ECO region.
Cooperation with Azerbaijan. Decision on Azerbaijan’s membership to the organization was taken at the ECO Council of Ministers extraordinary session held on November 28, 1992 in İslamabad. Azerbaijan is taking active part in terms of liberalization of the economy in ECO. In order to improve economic partnership among member states and to increase internal regional trade relations, Azerbaijan signed 10 different agreements, including Framework Agreement on ECO Trade Cooperation, Transit Transport Framework Agreement, Agreement on Promotion and Protection of Investment.
XII ECO Summit took place in Baku on October 16, 2012. Eco chairmanship passed to Azerbaijan since October 15. Baku Declaration was adopted during the Summit.
21st meeting of the Council of Ministers of ECO was held in Tehran, Iran Islamic Republic, on November 26, 2013. During the meeting, it was decided to create ECO Research Center in Baku and Regulations of the Center was approved. Currently, internal procedures on functioning of the Research Center are proceeding.
2nd Baku Forum of ECO Member States Economic Think-Tanks and 2nd International Conference on “Energy, Regional Integration and Socio-economic development” were held on October 1, 2014.
On November 26-27, 2015 delegation of ECO led by the Secretary General - Halil Ibrahim Akcha had a visit to Baku.
On March 1st 2017, 13th ECO Summit was held in Islamabad, Pakistan. Minister of Economy Shahin Mustafayev attended the event as a member of the Azerbaijani delegation led by the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliyev.
OIC Secretary-General Hadi Soleimanpour met with several state officials, as well as Minister of Economy Shahin Mustafayev during his visit to Baku on October 26, 2018 in order to attend the 6th meeting of the heads of privatization organizations of the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) member states.
On December 17-20, 2018 the 29th meeting of Economic Cooperation Organisation Regional Planning Council was held in Islamabad, Pakistan. Representatives from the Ministry of Economy of Azerbaijan attended the event within the Azerbaijani delegation.
ECOBANK. ECO Trade and Development Bank started functioning in 2008. The main goal of the organization is to extend the internal regional trade among member states and to provide financial aid in order to enhance economic development. The main project priorities of the Bank include the fields of infrastructure, production, transportation, telecommunication and energy. Charter of the bank was signed by Azerbaijan on September 28, 2012 and was ratified by the Parliament on February 13, 2013.