Friday, August 21, 2009

Economic Co-operation Organization

After the expansion of its membership, E.C.O has today completed 13 year of life. Since 28th November 1992 every ECO Day is commemorated on this day seven new members jointed this organisation raising the total membership from three to ten. The member states who joined ECO in 1992 are Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. The economic cooperation organisation (ECO) is an inter governmental organisation established in 1985 as a trilateral Regional Economic, cooperation organisation with the membership of Iran, Pakistan and Turkey. It is the success or organisation of the Regional cooperation for Development (RCD) that remained active since its inception from 1964 up to 1979.
ECO, with more then seven million Sq Km and nearly 350 million people covers a huge land mass with vast minerals and human resources which provides unique opportunities for the overall regional is very vast having great potential for exchange of good and services among the member states as well as extending cooperation in many areas.
The main objective and activities of ECO are envisaged in the Treaty of Izmir as the main charter of organisation and the economic strategy which has been approved in 1996. This strategy shall pursue and implement ECO objectives as stipulated in the Treaty of Izmir. Sustainable economic development of the member states progressive removed of trade barrier and promotion of intra regional trade as well as greater role of ECO region in the promotion of the world trade and its gradual integration with the world infrastructure thinking the members states with each other and with the outside world are among the major objectives of ECO.
It is pertinent to mention that since its establishment, the ECO has been contributing to the expansion of cooperation among the member countries. So far 8 summits, 15 Meetings of Council of Ministers (COM), 5 Ministerial meetings of Transport and communications. Ministerial Meetings on Environment a Ministerial Meeting on finance one on energy have been held which are good examples of high political will of the ECO member states towards the promotion of regional cooperation and mutual understanding of the need to challenge regional issues.
These summits and Ministerial Meetings have achieved fruitful result in serving the mutual interest of ECO member countries. Measure such as welcoming to finalisation of ECO Trade Agreement decision of establish a free Trade Area in the region by 2015 and implementation of a plan of action or cooperation in the field of Environment are just a few instrumental agreements to promote regional cooperation. Besides others three major important Ministerial meetings were held in Past two years in areas such as Environment, Agriculture and commerce / Foreign Trade.
The development of greater economic state in the region naturally results in greater sensitivity to the concerns of each other. This paves the way for more ambitious but entirely achievability goals and focuses on the top priority areas such as trade energy transport and communication in the region as far as to trade is concerned in spite of noticable positive tendencies in total trade volume of the ECO member states i.e. US$ 318 billion in 2004 the intra-regional trade ratio is still lower than the real potential and can not be behind the threshold of 6 percent. In order to improve these figures, ECO is making sincere endeavours to ECO is trading regime which can effectively address mutual concerns.
In this context adoption of ECO Trade Agreement (ECOTA) would lead us to gradual but definite removal of the non-tariff barriers brightening prospects of promotion of intra-regional members state to complete the ratification process.
In order to expedite this process through a sense of Experts. Group meetings the member states have the formulations of the annexes of ECOTO on Rules of origin. State Aid, intellectual property Rights and Anti-dumping Measures. There is no doubt that this achievement would eventually lead to early realisation of ECOTA. ECO is working to finalise the mechanism for the Fast Track Approach for the early implementation of ECOTA.
Of course trade treaty per se will not improve the current state of regional trade. Therefore, ECO has also focused hard on various trade promotions and facilitation measures including supply side constraints some of which already under way or at various stages of progress. Liberalisation of trade policies, pursuing ECO the project reactivation of ECO – CcI. E – Trade use of information and communication Technology trade and investment information networking, harmonisation of customs laws and regulations and simplification of visa procedures particularly for the business persons are essential co-efficiencies of such measures.

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