• 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
      • The ECO Trade Agreement (ECOTA) will be operationalized and the membership of ECOTA will be increased.
      • The scope of ECOTA will be enhanced from preferential trade to Free trade Agreement.
      • Non-WTO Member Countries will be assisted in their accession to WTO
      • Following pending trade related agreements will be operationalized:
      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.
      • ECO Visa Sticker Scheme for businessmen will be operationalized.
      • ECO Reinsurance Company will be operationalized.
      • The role of the ECO Bank will be strengthened in the development of ECO economies. The membership of the Bank will be expanded.
      • Capacity Building Programmes for Trade Promotion Organizations of the Member Countries will be prepared and executed.
      • Regional trade exhibitions and fairs will be organized.
      • A robust trade financing programme will be launched for enhancing regional trade.”

      “3E. Economic Growth and Productivity
      • The Agreement on Promotion and Protection of Investment among ECO Member Countries (APPI) will be operationalized and its membership will be increased.
      • Legal regimes and mechanisms to enhance investor protection will be improved;
      • Capacity Building Programmes for Investment Promotion Agencies of the Member Countries will be prepared and executed.”

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