Directory of Economic, Commodity and Development Organizations - table of contents



1, Golbou Alley                                       Postal Add:  P.O. Box 14155-6176
Kamranieh, Tehran                                     Telephone:   [98](21)283-1731/3/4
Islamic Republic of Iran                              Facsimile:   [98](21)283-1732

                   Secretary General:          ...    H.E. Abdulrahim GAVAHI

Regional Institutions/Specialized Agencies
ECO Cultural Institute                                Telephone:   [98](21)222-5846
207 Mirdamad Avenue                                   Facsimile:   [98](21)222-7535
Islamic Republic of Iran
ECO Shipping Company                                  Telephone:   [98](21)222-6052
99 Mirdamad Avenue                                    Facsimile:   [98](21)222-0433 
Islamic Republic of Iran
ECO College of Insurance                               Postal Add:  P.O. Box 15875-4381
Allameh Tabataba-a University                          Telephone:   [98](21)883-3578/9
Taleghani Ave. Malekshoara Bahar No. 1                 Facsimile:   [98](21)883-3611
Islamic Republic of Iran
ECO Insurance Centre                                   Postal Add:  P.O. Box 4777
c/o Pakistan Reinsurance Co. Ltd.                                   Karachi, Pakistan
PIC Towers, 32-A Lalazar Drive                         Telephone:   [98](21)920-2908-14
MT Khan Road                                           Facsimile:   [98](21)920-2521-2
Karachi                                                E-mail:
ECO Consultancy and Engineering Company (ECI CEC)      Telephone:   [92}(42)630-5568/9
Shah Din Building                                                   [92](42)630-2746
Shahreh-e-Quaid-e-Azam                                 Facsimile:   [92](42)636-3735
Lahore 54000



The Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO), is an inter-governmental regional organization established in 1985 by the Islamic Republic of Iran, Pakistan, and Turkey for the purpose of promoting regional economic cooperation among the member states.

ECO is the successor organization of Regional Cooperation for Development (RCD) which remained in existence from 1964 to 1979. Subsequently, the organization was restructured and revived under its present name, ECO. Accordingly, the basic charter of the organization, the Treaty of Izmir of 1977, was amended in 1990 providing a legal basis for the new organization. In 1992, the organization was expanded to include seven new members, namely, Islamic State of Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan. In this respect, November 28 is commenorated annually as the ECO Day.

The main objectives of ECO are: 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 and 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.

The ECO's major areas of cooperation are: (a) transport and communications, (b) trade and investment, (c) energy, minerals, and environment, and (d) industry and agriculture. It has five regional institutions (ECO Trade and Development Bank, ECO Reinsurance Company, ECO Shipping Company, ECO Chamber of Commerce, and ECO College of Insurance) and three specialized agencies (ECO Cultural Institute, ECO Educational Institutions and ECO Science Foundation).

Since the ECO's expansion in November 1992, its long-term perspectives and sectoral priorities have been defined in the form of action plans: the Quetta Plan of Action, the Istanbul Declaration, the Almaty Outline Plan, and the Economic Cooperation Strategy for the ECO region. Transport and communications, trade and investment, and energy figure as the priority areas of this Strategy. The project-oriented Almaty Outline Plan adopted in November 1993 underscores the importance that ECO Member States attach to the development of a modern transport and communication infrastructure linking the ECO Member States with each other and with the outside world. Necessary steps are also being taken to concretize regional cooperation in the field of energy by planning a network of gas and oil pipelines and interconnection of power grids within the region.


10 member states: Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan


The Council of Ministers is the highest policy and decision-making body of the ECO, and is composed of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the Member States or such other representatives of Ministerial rank as may be designated by their governments. The Council of Ministers meets at least once a year by rotation among the Member States.

The Council of Permanent Representatives is a permanent body based in Tehran. It is comprised of the Permanent Representatives/Ambassadors of Member States accredited to ECO. It meets regularly to formulate issues requiring decision by the Member States and to implement the decisions taken by the Council of Ministers.

The Regional Planning Council is composed of the Heads of the Planning Organizations of the Member States and/or such other representatives of corresponding authorities as may be nominated by their governments. It meets once a year, generally in the Headquarters (Tehran).

ECO Summits

Every two years, a Summit of Heads of States is organized in a member country's capital. The Summit meetings review the overall performance and progress in implementation of ECO programs and projects. So far, five such meetings have been held beginning with the First ECO Summit held in Tehran in February 1992 followed by the Second in Istanbul in July 1993.

The Third ECO Summit Meeting held in Islamabad, Pakistan, in March 1995 witnessed the signing of documents pertaining to six ECO Institutions (ECO Trade and Development Bank, ECO Reinsurance Company, ECO Shipping Company, ECO Air, ECO Cultural Institute, and ECO Science Foundation) and two regional agreements (ECO Transit Trade Agreement and Agreement on Simplification of Visa Procedures for the Businessmen of ECO Countries).

The Fourth ECO Summit Meeting held in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, in May 1996 marked, inter-alia, the completion of groundwork for the reorganization of ECO and restructuring of its organs. Following this, an extraordinary meeting of the ECO Council of Ministers was held in Ismir, Turkey, on September 14, 1996 where the member countries signed the revised Treaty of Izmir, the Organization's Fundamental Charter.

An Extra-ordinary Summit Meeting was held in Ashgabat in May 1997 highlighting the importance of the development of transport and communication infrastructure and network of trans-national pipelines in the ECO region.

During the Fifth ECO Summit held in Almaty, Kazakhstan, in May 1998, ECO Member States signed a Transit Transport Framework Agreement (TTFA), an MOU against Smuggling and Customs Fraud and agreed to establish an ECO Educational Institute in Ankara, Turkey.

The Sixth Summit Meeting was held in Tehran, Iran in June 2000.

The First Ministerial Meeting on Commerce/Foreign Trade was held in Tehran, March 2000.

The Third Ministerial Meeting on Transport and Communications was held in Islamabad in April 2000.

The First Ministerial Meeting on Energy/Petroleum was held in Islamabad on November 8, 2000.

External Relations

Since its expansion, ECO has consolidated its international image and stature through cooperative relationships with various regional and international organizations, including UN-ESCAP, UNICEF, UNDP, UNDCP, UNESCO, UNFPA, UNIDO, FAO, ITC, UNCTAD, WTO and IsDB. ECO has also acquired observer status with the UN General Assembly and the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC). Mutually beneficial cooperative relations were also established with other major regional groupings, such as ASEAN. The same relations are being sought with the European Union and BSEC.

UPDATED:  February 25, 2002

Directory of Economic, Commodity and Development Organizations - table of contents