Economic Co-operation Organization (ECO)

Reference work entry
Part of the The Statesman's Yearbook book series (SYBK)

The Economic Co-operation Organization (ECO) is an intergovernmental regional organization established in 1985 by Iran, Pakistan and Turkey and the successor of the Regional Co-operation for Development (RCD). ECO was expanded in 1992 to include seven new members: Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. The organization’s objectives, stipulated in its Charter, the Treaty of İzmir, include the promotion of conditions for sustained economic growth in the region. Transport and communications, trade and investment, and energy are the high priority areas in ECO’s scheme of work although industry, agriculture, health, science and education, drug control and human development are also on the agenda.

The Council of Ministers (COM) remains the highest policy and decision-making body of the organization, meeting at least once a year and chaired by rotation among the member states.

ECO Summits were instituted with the First Summit held in Tehran in 1992. A further 12 Summits have been held since then, most recently in Islamabad in March 2017.

The long-term perspectives and priorities of ECO are defined in the form of two Action Plans: the Quetta Plan of Action and the İstanbul Declaration and Economic Co-operation Strategy.

ECO enjoys observer status with the United Nations, World Trade Organization and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation.

  • Headquarters: 1 Golbou Alley, Kamranieh St., 19519-33114, Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran.

  • Website:

  • Email:

  • Secretary-General: Halil Ibrahim Akça (Turkey).

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© The Author(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2019

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