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EghtesadOnline: The Rouhani administration has submitted a bill to the parliament that allows ECO Trade and Development Bank to open a representative office in Tehran to help expand ties between Iran and members of the ten-nation Economic Cooperation Organization.

Hussein Ali Amiri, the vice president for parliamentary affairs, said this in a talk with IRNA. 

ETDB is a regional multilateral development bank that promotes socioeconomic development and intra-regional trade among ECO member states. It was established in 2005 and is headquartered in Istanbul. It started operations in 2008.

Back in 2017, the Central Bank of Iran signed a cooperation agreement with ETDB to pave the way for the multilateral lender to help fund projects in Iran.

Conditions and regulations of the activities of the bank's Tehran  office will be designed on the basis of that agreement. 

Similar agreements exist between the lender and the government of Turkey plus the government of Pakistan where the bank has a representative office.

The Economic Cooperation Organization is a Eurasian political and economic intergovernmental organization founded in 1984 in Tehran by the leaders of Iran, Pakistan and Turkey. By the fall of 1992, ECO expanded to include seven new members; Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. 

It is a platform to discuss ways of improving development and promoting trade and investment opportunities. An ad hoc organization under the United Nations Charter, ECO strives to establish a single market for goods and services. 

The ECO secretariat and cultural department is in Iran, its economic bureau in Turkey and its scientific bureau in Pakistan. Consisting of predominantly Muslim-majority states, it is a trade bloc for Central Asian states connected to the Mediterranean region through Turkey to the Persian Gulf via Iran and to the Arabian Sea via Pakistan.

Iran’s non-oil trade reached $4.5 billion with ECO members, namely Turkey, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan in the first half of the last Iranian year (March 21-Sept. 21).

Iran traded 9.199 million tons of non-oil commodities with ECO states in the period with exports at 6.54 million tons worth $2.5 billion.


ECO Tehran majlis