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Economic Cooperation Organization

What is an Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO)?

Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) is an intergovernmental regional organization which was established in 1985 by Iran, Pakistan and Turkey. It was preceded by the Regional Cooperation for Development (RCD), which was established in 1964 by these same countries. The RCD remained in operation till 1979. The governing document is the

A Little More About the Economic Cooperation Organization

The purpose of the organization is to collaborate in the following fields.

• Trade and Investment
• Transport and Telecommunications
• Energy, Minerals and Environment
• Agriculture, Industry and Tourism
• Human Resources & Sustainable Development
• Project & Economic Research and Statistics

It seeks to enhance economic development of member states by promoting trade, energy and cultural ties among its member states. While the ECO is plagued by a lack of organization and structure, its international reputation is growing and it seeks to accelerate economic prospects of these nations.

Becoming a Member of the ECO

“Any State enjoying geographical contiguity with the ECO region and/or sharing the objectives and principles of ECO may apply to become a member of the Organization” (Treaty of Izmir).

At its inception, the ECO had only 3 members — Pakistan, Iran and Turkey. But the number of its member increases after the collapse of USSR. Today, it has ten members spanning from west Asia, South Asia, the Caucuses and Central Asia. In 1992, the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and six former Soviet Republics, namely, Republic of Kyrgyz, Republic of Tajikistan, Azerbaijan, Republic of Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and Republic of Uzbekistan became members of ECO.

The observing members are: Northern Cyprus, Organization of Islamic Cooperation, Turkic Council, and Energy Charter.

What is the Economic Cooperation Organization’s Structure?

The organizational structure is as follows:

• Council of Ministers – The Council of Ministers composed of the foreign ministers of member states. They meet at least once in a year. It’s the decision-making and policy-making body. The member states’ ministers may propose any action or project in the meetings.

• Council of Permanent Representatives – The Council of Permanent Representative includes ambassadors of member countries. They meet as often as is necessary.

• Regional Planning Council – The Regional Planning Council consists of the heads of the planning organizations of its member states. They meet once a year before annual the meeting of the Council of Ministers. They plan and recommend policies, guidelines and strategies pursuant to the guidelines of the Council of Ministers and the Treaty of Izmir.

• General Secretariat – The General Secretariat (GS) consists of six directorates. Each of these directorates is under the supervision of the Secretary General. The GS consists of two specialized agencies and six regional institutes. The six ECO Directorates are as follows:

⁃ Industry & Agriculture
⁃ Trade & Investment
⁃ Energy, Mineral & Environment
⁃ Transport & Communications
⁃ Economic Research & Statistics
⁃ Project Research & Development

References for the Economic Cooperation Organization


Academic Research on Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO)

  • ●      Determinants of healthcare expenditure in Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) countries: Evidence from panel cointegration tests, Samadi, A., & Rad, E. H. (2013). International journal of health policy and management1(1), 63. This paper analyes the growth in the healthcare expenditures over the last decade, and its impact on the inequity resources distributions. The purpose of this study is to show the determinants of healthcare expenditures on Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) countries.
  • ●      Factors affecting the technical efficiency of health systems: A case study of Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) countries (2004–10), Ravangard, R., Hatam, N., Teimourizad, A., & Jafari, A. (2014). International journal of health policy and management3(2), 63. The importance of measuring health care efficiency in a country cannot be overemphasized. This paper aims to measure the the Technical Efficiency (TE) of healthcare systems in Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) nations and during 2004-10, amd determine the factors affecting their TE.
  • ●      Explaining interfirm cooperation and performance: toward a reconciliation of predictions from the resourcebased view and organizational economics, Combs, J. G., & Ketchen, Jr, D. J. (1999). Strategic management journal20(9), 867-888. This paper examines the concept of interfirm cooperation and its performance implications using two widely cited theoretical approaches to organizations. Broadly speaking, the resource‐based view suggests that firms seek to capitalize on and increase their capabilities and endowments, whereas organizational economics asserts that firms focus on minimizing the costs of organizing. Samples are taken from 94 publicly held chains and used as case study.
  • ●      Birth of an organization: The economic cooperation administration, Simon, H. A. (1953). Public Administration Review13(4), 227-236. This paper explores the different events which took place at the time of creating the Economic Cooperation Act (ECA). It’s main objective is to educate readers on these events and propose ideas which they can learn from and apply to the real world.
  • ●      Internationalization remodeled: Definition, approaches, and rationales, Knight, J. (2004). Journal of studies in international education8(1), 5-31. The purpose of this article is to study internationalization at both the institutional and national/sector level. This article analyses the meaning, definition, rationales, and approaches of internationalization using a bottom-up (institutional) approach and a top-down (national/sector) approach and examines the dynamic relationship between these two levels.
  • ●      Why do countries seek regional trade agreements?, Whalley, J. (1998). In The regionalization of the world economy(pp. 63-90). University of Chicago Press. This paper emphasizes the range of factors which enter country calculations to seek regional trading arrangements. Research is based on an earlier modelling effort from Perroni and Whalley.
  • ●      Calculativeness, trust, and economic organization, Williamson, O. E. (1993). The journal of law and economics36(1, Part 2), 453-486. The author aims to explain the notion of “trust” using calculative economic reasoning. Emphasis is placed on Diego Gambetta’s definition.
  • ●      Factors affecting the technical efficiency of health systems: A case study of Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) countries (2004–10), Ravangard, R., Hatam, N., Teimourizad, A., & Jafari, A. (2014). International journal of health policy and management3(2), 63. This study analyses the efficiency of the health care sector in ECO countries, and the factors affecting it. The main aim is to measure the Technical Efficiency (TE) of each ECO nation’s health care sector during 2004-10, and determine the factors affecting their efficiency.
  • ●      With a little help from my friends? Regional organizations and the consolidation of democracy, Pevehouse, J. C. (2002). American Journal of Political Science, 611-626. This paper explores different works on the study of democratic consolidation, while ignoring international influences on these consolidation processes. The author wishes to show that regional IOs are not an outside entity forcing their preferences upon new democratic regimes, but that regional IOs are used by young democratic regimes to consolidate reforms through multiple causal mechanisms. To achieve the point of this argument, data is taken from analysis of different democracies from 1950-1992.
  • ●      The economics of organization: The transaction cost approach, Williamson, O. E. (1981). American journal of sociology87(3), 548-577. This paper analyses the transaction cost approach to the study of economic organizations regards transaction as the basic unit of analysis. This paper compares and contrasts this approach with selected parts of the organization theory literature.
  • ●      Unilateral Liberalization versus Regional Integration: The Case of ECO Member Countries., Achakzai, J. K. (2010). Lahore Journal of Economics15(1). Using an international dataset on bilateral trade for 137 countries in 2005, we estimate a gravity model to address the question of whether intra-Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) trade is too low and whether the scale of trade at present is accounted for by regional integration or unilateral liberalization. The results of the gravity model confirm that intra-regional trade is lower than predicted by the gravity equation. The results also validates the theory that the present level of trade is attributed to regional agreements rather than unilateral liberalization, suggesting greater scope for regional cooperation among ECO member countries.

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