Founded as the Regional Cooperation for Development (RCD) in 1964 by the Islamic Republic of Iran, Islamic Republic of Pakistan and the Republic of Türkiye, the Forum was rechristened as the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) in 1985.
The ECO Region shelters more than 460 million inhabitants and expands over 8 million square kilometers of land, connecting the north to south, south and east to the west, Asia to Europe and Eurasia to the Arab World. Composed of some Caucasus, South, West and Central Asian countries, ECO is one of the oldest intergovernmental organizations.
The founding and fundamental goal of the Organization is to create amenable and conducive conditions for the continued promotion of sustainable economic development in the region, aiming at joint welfare and wellbeing of the Member States.
The ECO stretched the fabric of its cooperative partnership in the early 1990s, welcoming the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and Republic of Azerbaijan, as well as five Central Asian nations, including the Republic of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Republic of Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Republic of Uzbekistan, as its members.
Over the past few decades, the Organization has relentlessly emerged as an effective forum of economic diplomacy and activism. The ECO Member States, bearing their shared cultural and historic affinities in mind, appear to be always ready, receptive and forthcoming to complement each other, intensifying their collaboration with action and result oriented motives to achieve the perceived target of greater connectivity and integration in the region.
Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif in a Group Photo with Heads of States/Governments and representatives of ECO member states at the 13th ECO Summit held in Islamabad on 1st March 2017.
During the 13th Summit at Islamabad in March 2017, the ECO Heads of State/Government endorsed and adopted the ECO Vision – 2025. It is a roadmap document meant for guiding the sectoral activities of the Organization in the years to come until 2025.
The virtual 14th ECO Summit was organized on Marcy 4, 2021 under the theme of ‘Regional Economic Cooperation in the aftermath of COVID-19-, whereby the highest ECO leadership put forward some strong and tangible recommendations and post-COVID strategies to support the resumption of development activities in the region.