Economic Cooperation Organization endorsed the area of the Economic Research & Statistics in 2005 as one of its core activities. Over the decade-long existence, this area has produced essential analytical economic reports and consolidated ECO regional data. The High Level Expert Group (HLEGM) on Statistics was established in 2006; whereas the ECO Permanent Steering Committee on Economic Research (EPSCER) has been set up in 2010 for the purposes of Economic Research.
The 1st Meeting of the Heads of National Statistical Offices (HNSO) of ECO Member Countries was hosted by the Statistical Center of Iran (SCI) (January 28-29, 2008).
Economic Research and Statistics has an important role to play in the onward development of the Economic Cooperation Organization. There are two main directions of work: 1) Statistics and 2) Economic Research.
Issues related to Statistics are dealt with at the meetings of the Heads of National Statistics Offices (HNSO) of the Member States. There is permanent Experts’ Group on Statistics. So far (as of October 1, 2023) there have been 7 (seven) meetings of HNSO and 9 (nine) meetings of the Experts’ Group on Statistics.
Subjects related to Economic Research is dealt with the ECO Permanent Steering Committee on Economic Research (EPSCER). So far 6 (six) meetings of EPSCER has been held.
The ERS section has well-established ties with UN Statistical Institute for Asia (UN SIAP), the Statistical, Economic and Social Research and Training Centre for Islamic Countries (SESRIC), Statistics Division of UNESCAP, the Department of Statistics of Malaysia (DOSM) United Nations Statistical Division (UNSD) and United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), with who regular online or physical events are held.
The ERS section also publishes ECO Annual Economic Reports: in 2023 it published ECO Annual Economic Report 2021: Overall Economic Situation and Trade in ECO Area and ECO Annual Economic Report 2022: Overall Economic Situation and Agriculture in ECO Area. The Member States are actively involved in making statistical corrections and adjustments to these reports.
Current priorities are operalization of the ECO Economic Research Centre in Baku, for which a work on encouraging the accession of the Member States to the Charter of the ECO Economic Research Centre is ongoing. The other task is the establishment of ECO Economic Journal (EEJ) as part of ECO Economic Research Centre. As of December 1, 2023 the ECO Secretariat has secured significant funding for the Journal and has taken active part in finalizing the Journal’s 2022 and 2023 editions.
The work in Economic Research and Statistics is guided by the priorities of the Member States aired at the 14th, 15th and 16th summits of Heads of States and Government as well as at the Council of Foreign Ministers.