1st Meeting of ECO Leading Research Institutions (MLERI)
1-2 March 2010, Tehran, Iran
1. The 1st Meeting of ECO Leading Economic Research
Institutions/Centers (MLERI) was held on 1-2 March 2010 in Tehran. The
meeting was hosted by the Population Studies and Research Center for Asia
and the Pacific of the Islamic Republic of Iran (PSRC).
2. The meeting was attended by the Representatives of the Islamic
Republic of Afghanistan, Islamic Republic of Iran, Republic of Kazakhstan,
Islamic Republic of Pakistan, the Republic of Turkey and Republic of
Turkmenistan. The ECO Secretariat as well as the Representatives of
International Organizations including Islamic Development Bank (IDB),
United Nation Population Fund (UNFPA) and Jihad and Agricultural Planning
Economic & Rural Development and Research Institute (APERDRI) of the
Ministry of Jihad-e-Agriculture of the Islamic Republic of Iran attended the
meeting. The list of participants is attached as Annex-I.
Agenda Item No. 1
Inauguration of the Meeting
3. The meeting was inaugurated by Dr. Mohammad Javad Mahmoudi,
Head of the Population Studies and Research Centre for Asia and Pacific of the
Islamic Republic of Iran. Dr. Ali Akbar Ashari, President's Advisor for Cultural
Affairs and the Head of National Library and Archives Organization of the
Islamic Republic of Iran delivered his opening statement. Dr. Gholamreza
Ghorbani, Deputy Minister of Science and Research and Technology and
Chairman of the Planning and Research Institution delivered the opening
statement of H.E. Dr. Kamran Daneshjo, Minister for Science, Research and
Technology of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Mr. Altaf Asghar, ECO Deputy
Secretary General, made introductory remarks. Copies of the Statements are
attached as Annex-II.
Agenda Item No. 2
Election of the Chairman
4. In accordance with the ECO Rules of Procedures, Dr. Mohammad Javad
Mahmoudi, Head of the Population Studies and Research Centre for Asia and
Pacific of the Islamic Republic of Iran was unanimously elected as the
Chairman of the meeting.
Agenda Item No. 3
Adoption of the draft Agenda
5. The draft Agenda of the meeting was adopted with some
modification. A copy of the adopted revised Agenda is attached as Annex-III.
Agenda Item No. 4
Appointment of the Drafting Committee
6. An open ended Drafting Committee was appointed to prepare the Draft
Report of the meeting.
Agenda Item No. 5
Background Information by the Secretariat
7. Director for Projects, Economic Research and Statistics (PERS), Ms.
Adilbekova, briefed the participants on the background of the meeting.
Agenda Item No. 6
Introductory Statement by the Delegations
8. Head of delegations made statements/presentation covering
achievements of their respective institutions, ongoing activities, research
implemented and growth perspectives of their esteemed institutions/countries.
A copy of the statements/presentations is placed on the attached CD.
Agenda Item No. 7
Consideration of ECO Economic Research Program
9. The meeting considered the document for economic research program in
details and approved it in principle. A copy of the Document is attached as
10. The meeting discussed proposals made by the representatives of Islamic
Republic of Iran regarding priorities in: (i) developing the implementation plan
of the ECO Economic Research Program, (ii) dissemination of regional
research outcomes, and (iii) regional cooperation to consolidate the economic
‘databank’, which could be commensurate to analytical economic research. A
copy of Iran’s proposal is attached as Annex-V
Agenda Item No. 8
Consideration of a Cooperation Mechanism among ECO Leading Economic
11. Participants shared their views and comments on the document, which
was considered to be the Framework for Cooperation among the ECO research
institutions. The meeting reviewed the document in detail, and while adopting
it in principle welcomed Kazakhstan’s proposal to establish a Permanent
Steering Committee for Economic Research, which could consist of the
nominees from all ECO Member States. The aim of such Committee will be to
(i) develop an Implementation Plan or Action Plan, (ii) coordinate the activities
of ECO Economic Research Institutions, (iii) update ECO Economic Policy,
(iv) monitor the implementation of ECO Economic Research Programme.
Other proposals may be discussed during the meeting of the Permanent
Steering Committee. A copy of the document is attached as Annex-VI.
Agenda Item No. 9
Approved Research Proposals
12. The following project proposals have been approved at the 19th RPC
Meeting in January 2009 in Tehran. Following the recommendations of the 19th
RPC the Coordinating Countries have presented their detailed project proposals
to the meeting:
1. Comparative Study on the Linkage between Energy Consumption
and Population Dynamics in the ECO Countries. The presentation
is the attached CD.
2. Prospects for Closer Regional Economic Integration of ECO
Member Countries. A copy of the project Proposal is attached as
1. Alternative Energy Resources in ECO region.
2. Prospects of Intra-trade in ECO region. The presentation on these
projects is on the attached CD.
13. The meeting considered these research proposals in detail. It was noted
that the formulation of one of components of Kazakhstan’s research proposal
be modified. The meeting noted that some extent of overlap is unavoidable due
to the broad nature of economic research and suggested that IDB’s Center for
Development of Trade may be consulted for it possesses essential experience in
enabling synergy in project proposals. The meeting suggested sending both
proposals to CPR meeting for consideration.
Agenda Item No. 10
Consideration of ECO Economic Journal
14. The first pilot issue of ECO Economic Journal has been approved by the
20 PRC Meeting on15 February 2010 in Antalya, Turkey. The Council also
recommended that the Editorial Board of the Journal should have one delegate
from each ECO Member State. It was also recommended that the Board should
have one statistician, of which candidate will be considered at 3rd upcoming
HLEGM in October the current year in Kabul.
15. The 1st MLERI welcomed the recommendations of the 20th RPC that the
publication of the Journal should be continued and requested the Secretariat to
start compiling the subsequent 2nd issue of the Journal and urged Research
Institutions of ECO Member States to provide analytical papers, articles,
reviews on economic and development issues pertaining to the region and on
issue of global concern. It was suggested that the Journal shall apply for
International Scientific Index (ISI) or Islamic Scientific Citation (ISC), and the
Editor-in-Chief of the Journal should have clear functions and access to editing.
16. It was also noted that these issues as well as other technical aspects of
the Journal should be deliberated by Member of the Editorial Board who may
meet in frame of the MLERI's subsequent meeting and Kazakhstan proposed
that the issues pertaining to the Journal may be discussed during the 1st Meeting
of the ECO Permanent Steering Committee on Economic Research.
Agenda Item No. 11
16. Representative of the Islamic Development Bank, Mr. Ismaeel Ibrahim
Na’iya presented a very comprehensive and detailed picture of ongoing
economic research activities of the Islamic Development Bank. Publication of
IDB Annual Economic Report and other publications were mentioned. He also
spoke on IDB's present collaboration with international organizations in
economic research. As a practical step, he suggested IDB is ready to cooperate
with ECO on economic research and development of the member countries.
ECO may approach IDB with package of proposals on economic research as
well as project proposals which presented during the 1st MLERI for possible
co-financing. Also, training was noted important within the framework of
capacity building activities with special emphasis on economic research.
17. The Secretariat informed that it will forward a circular note to Member
States requesting them to intimate their respective needs in training on
economic research. Also, recent cooperative efforts of UNFPA were noted by
the Secretariat as positive and that these will be followed up shortly.
Agenda Item No. 12
Any Other Business
18. Under this agenda item, the delegate from the Civil Registration
Organization of the Islamic Republic of Iran briefed participants about their
potentials. In order to harmonize statistical network, he suggested to hold a
meeting in cooperation with the ECO Member States on Issues of Civil
Registration of ECO member states.
Agenda Item No. 13
Date and Venue of the Next Meeting
19. The Meeting suggested that the date and venue of the next MLERI is
open for Member States and that the Secretariat will follow up the issue
through diplomatic channels.
Agenda Item No. 14
Adoption of the Report
20. The Draft Report of the Meeting, prepared by the Drafting Committee
Agenda Item No. 15
Vote of Thanks and Closing of the Meeting
21. The Representatives of Afghanistan and Kazakhstan on behalf of the
participants expressed gratitude and appreciation to the Government of
Republic of the Islamic Republic of Iran, especially to the Population Studies
and Research Center in Asia and the Pacific and Dr. Mohammad Javad
Mahmoudi, Head of the PSRC, and his staff for the warm hospitality extended
during the meeting. Mr. Aftaf Asghar, ECO Deputy Secretary General, also
made his closing statement.