Economic Cooperation Organisation (ECO): The Regional Cooperation Organization, which was established between Turkey, Iran and Pakistan in 1964 to develop regional economic cooperation between these three countries was reinstated in 1985 under the name of the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO), after making some changes in its structure and contents. In 1992, with Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Kazakhistan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan’s participation, ECO became a 10 member organization covering 7 million square kilometers and nearly 400 million people.
ECO is the only regional economic organization in which Turkey is in a membership with other Cenral Asian Republics. Turkey, however, is an important member of ECO due to its position, level of development and its political and economic relations with all the other countries. Turkey also plays an active role in ECO for the development of trade, for making trade rules transparent and bringing them into line with the rules and standards of the world trade organization, and for the development of transportation lines for Central Asian countries which do not have access to the seas.
Within this frame, the enaction of the ECO Trade Agreement and ECO Transit Transportation Frame Agreement, increasing the effect of the ECO Commerce and Development Bank, whose central office is in İstanbul, the establishment of an “ECO Reassurance Company” and an “ECO Regional Center for Standardization, Confirmity Evaluation, Acreditation and Metrology” and the revival of the İstanbul-Almati Passenger and Cargo Train” projects are among ECO’s important cooperation issues.