Economic Cooperation Organisation (ECO)

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Economic Cooperation Organisation (ECO)

The Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) was founded in 1985 by Iran, Pakistan and Türkiye to promote economic, technical and cultural cooperation among the member states. ECO is the successor organisation to Regional Cooperation for Development (RCD), which was functional from 1964 to 1979, and its basic charter is the Treaty of Izmir, originally signed in 1977.
Seven new members, Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, joined ECO on the 28th of November 1992 (currently, there are 10 member countries in ECO)

   The date of the expansion to its present strength is referred to as “ECO Day”


Objectives and activity areas 

The goals of the ECO are reflected in the Izmir Treaty, which is the key document regulating the activities of the Organisation. The main objectives of the Organisation are to remove trade restrictions in the ECO region, to expand intra-regional and inter-regional trade, taking into account the experience of other regions and global economic trends. To this end, work is underway to liberalize trade between member states through the ECO Trade Agreement, which provides for the elimination of non-tariff barriers to trade and reduction of tariffs, as well as the improvement of mutual transport links.

In accordance with the Organisation’s Charter, co-operation within the ECO is carried out through the following structures:

  • Council of Ministers (COM)
  • Council of Permanent Representatives (CPR)
  • Regional Planning Council (RPC)
  • The Secretariat

Co-ordination within the Organisation is carried out through the ECO Secretariat in Tehran. Mr Hadi Suleymanpur is the Secretary General of the ECO.


Azerbaijan-ECO relations

Azerbaijan attaches great importance to cooperation within the ECO and is interested in the efficient operation of the Organisation. Our country hosted the ECO Summits in 2006 and 2012, and the documents adopted at these events reflected the basic principles of a number of socio-economic and political relations between the member countries, including the priorities and directions of regional relations.

Azerbaijan supports the implementation of projects of common interest through the ECO and puts forward proposals and initiatives to develop co-operation in various fields. In order to contribute to the development of the ECO as a project-oriented organisation, Azerbaijan has initiated the establishment of the ECO Research Center in Baku. The Charter of the Research Center was signed by Azerbaijan and Türkiye. Currently, work is underway to establish the centre.

Within the framework of the Organisation, Azerbaijan co-operates with other member states in a number of priority areas, including trade, investment, transport, energy and the environment.

The Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Azerbaijan to the Islamic Republic of Iran is also the Permanent Representative of our country to the OIC.

The 4th ECO Summit was held in a video-conferencing format under the chairmanship of the Republic of Türkiye on the 4th of March 2021. In his speech, the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliyev, who took part in the Summit, briefed the heads of state and government of the ECO member states on the restoration work carried out in the territories liberated by Azerbaijan. He also stressed the importance of co-operating within the ECO, spoke about Azerbaijan`s achievements in international economic co-operation and the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, expressed readiness for co-operation, and called on ECO countries to benefit from Azerbaijan`s regional initiatives, especially the Zangazur corridor.

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