Economic Cooperation Organization

Trade and Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) play an important large role in the economic growth of developing countries. Increased exports and inward investment creates wealth which drives economic growth and hence creates jobs in an economy.

In ECO too, Trade and Investment sector occupies the foremost important place and is among the core priority areas. High level fora (including Ministerial Meetings on Commerce and Foreign Trade, Ministerial Meetings on Finance and Economy, the Meetings of Heads of Tax Administration, Heads of Central Banks, Heads of Customs Administrations, Heads of Trade Promotion Organizations) make decisions on trade related matters. These decisions determine the direction and scope for ECO cooperation in the areas of trade and investment.

The ECO-Vision 2025 was approved during the 13th ECO Summit held at Islamabad, Islamic Republic of Pakistan on 1st March 2017. The details of the Trade Related Part of Vision 2025 can be seen here.

Trade Statistics

Trade and Investment Team

Mr. Seyed Mohsen Esperi (Iranian National)
Deputy Secretary General (T&I and A&I)
Economic Cooperation Organisation (ECO), Tehran
Tel: +98-21 -22831733-4. Ext. 232

Mr. Zahid Hussain Abbasi​ (Pakistani national)
Director for Trade and Investment
Tel: + 98 (21)-22831733-34

Mr. Mehmet Cetik (Turkish National)
Programme Officer (Trade and Investment)
Tel: + 98 (21)-22831733-34

Ms. Sholpan Karymbayeva (Kazakh national)
Programme Officer (Trade and Investment)
Tel: + 98 (21)-22831733-34

Mr. Hossein Rahimi (Iranian National)
Programme Officer (Trade and Investment)
Tel: + 98 (21)-22831733-34

M. Shafqat Zahoor (Pakistani national)
Desk Officer
Tel: (+9821) 22831733-34

Trade Related Part of Vision 2025

I. Strategic Objective

To double intra-regional trade increase ECO share in the global trade and specifically exports, increase share in global trade and tap regional trade potential for economic growth.

II. Policy Environment

As trade continues to be the engine of economic development and an instrument for socio-economic integration, expanding trade volumes is the need of hour for ECO. In 2015 the global ECO trade reached US$ 648 billion. This included exports of US$ 285 billion and imports of US$ 363 billion. ECO is a net importer from the world with a negative trade balance of US$ 78 billion. A large part of this can be diverted to ECO countries if ECO Trade Agreement (ECOTA) is operationalized. In 2015 the total intra-ECO trade was US$ 58 billion which, at 9 percent, is far below its true potential.

Expanding trade volumes require trade liberalisation, harmonisation of policies, reducing the cost of doing business, financial infrastructure, and institutional capacity building. Harmonization of national policies is important for free flow of trade, harmonization creates compatibilities, maximizes economic efficiency and reduces transaction costs. Trade facilitation is another area of focus for ECO, as it reduces indirect as well as hidden costs, which is substantially high in ECO Region.
III. Expected Outcomes

“3A. Trade

  1. ECO Agreement on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Customs Matters.
  2. ECO Agreement on Joint Promotional Activities.
  3. ECO Trade Facilitation Agreement.
  4. Regional Agreement on Cooperation in Taxation Matters.

“3E. Economic Growth and Productivity