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Getting regional trade right in Central Asia

The Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) was founded in 1985 to provide members with a platform to discuss ways to improve development as well as promote trade and investment opportunities. Around 462 million people — 6.2 per cent of the world’s population — live within the 10 member states of Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. But at a time when the world trading system is moving towards regional economic integration, ECO remains one of the least integrated trade organisations in the world, making up only 2.1 per cent of world trade.