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 organization 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, efficient use of material resources of ECO region.
Cooperation with Azerbaijan. Azerbaijan became the member of the organization according to the decision of 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.
The 9th and 12th Summits of ECO were held in Baku in 2006 and 2012, respectively, during which the Baku Declarations were adopted.
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 the Charter of the Center was approved.
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 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 with Minister of Economy 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 Organization Regional Planning Council was held in Islamabad, Pakistan. Representatives from the Ministry of Economy of Azerbaijan attended the event within the Azerbaijani delegation.
On January 14-16, 2020 The 30th meeting of Economic Cooperation Organization Regional Planning Council was held in Teheran, Iran. Representatives from the Ministry of Economy of Azerbaijan attended the event within the Azerbaijani delegation.
On March 4, 2021, the 14th ECO Summit was held in a virtual format. During the meeting the Charter of the ECO Research Center was signed by the Minister of Economy Mikayil Jabbarov and the Ambassador of Turkey to Azerbaijan Erkan Ozoral on behalf of Azerbaijan and Turkey, respectively.
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.