Economic Cooperation Organization

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.

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