ST. PETERSBURG, Nov 9 (Xinhua). Members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) have been able to maintain economic growth and attract investments despite the global downturn, prime ministers of the group said here Monday.
Steady economic growth was achieved in these countries amid global financial uncertainties and fluctuation in raw material prices, said the leaders in a joint communique issued after their annual gathering in the Russian city.
The SCO, which was founded in Shanghai in 2001, groups China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.
The communique also said the prime minsters exchanged views on a broad range of global and regional economic development issues in a "friendly, constructive and pragmatic atmosphere."
They also agreed that the members have made a series of concrete achievements in their close cooperation and joint efforts in economic cooperation and people-to-people exchanges since last year's SCO prime ministers' meeting in Dushanbe, it said.
The prime ministers pledged to continue to consolidate and develop the organization for the benefits of all members as the SCO is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year.
They also congratulated Tajikistan on its successful presidential election and hoped for further political, social and economic progress in the country.
The prime ministers noted that the group's Astana summit on June 15, 2011, underscored the need to bring new life to economic cooperation, as well as the need to improve peoples' livelihood, which the SCO heads of state took as a priority.
Therefore, they said, focus should concentrate on the formulation and implementation of joint projects in transportation, telecommunications, science and technology, innovation, energy saving, agriculture, trade and tourism.
The joint projects would boost the modernization of the economies, allow them to be innovation-driven and ensure sustainable development.
The prime ministers also welcomed the outcome of the SCO trade ministers' meeting in Dushanbe on Oct. 26, 2011.
To strengthen economic cooperation and people-to-people exchanges within the SCO, the prime ministers have instructed authorities to draft a list of measures for the promotion of joint projects and to submit them for their approval.
The prime ministers spoke highly of the events aimed at deepening economic cooperation in the region and voiced support for turning them into regular mechanisms.
They reiterated support for the establishment of special accounts and development banks for the SCO.
The prime ministers said they have instructed relevant authorities to continue to work on an effective financing mechanism for joint projects within the framework of the SCO. The work must be completed before the next summit of the SCO heads of state in China.
They also welcomed the outcome of the SCO transport ministers' meeting in Moscow on Oct. 28, 2011. They called for continued cooperation at various levels so as to implement relevant agreements and carry out joint demonstrative projects in the field of transportation.
The prime ministers stressed that stronger customs and e-commerce cooperation among the SCO member countries is significant. They also urged more efforts on the formulation of a joint operation model for the proposed SCO information superhighway project.
The prime ministers emphasized the importance of cooperation in the field of science and technological innovation, noting that the confirmation of priority projects in this field is of vital importance to better cooperation and is conducive to the modernization of their economies and overall development.
Based on the outcome of the meeting of heads of emergency departments of the SCO member countries on Sept. 27 this year in Dushanbe, capital of Tajikistan, the prime ministers noted that the SCO member countries should continue to work together to cope with threats of natural and technical disasters and upgrade their emergency response capacity through exchanges.
They asked to promote tourism among the SCO member countries and share information on tourism.
They voiced support for the deepening of cooperation in social and cultural realms to reinforce the friendship and good-neighborliness among the peoples of the SCO member countries.
The prime ministers underscored the importance of the inter-governmental heath cooperation agreement signed in Astana, capital of Kazakhstan, on June 15 this year, expressing their support for stronger all-round cooperation in this field.
The prime ministers highly valued the admittance of SCO observer countries and dialogue partners into SCO economic, social and cultural activities and projects. They agreed that all parties would continue to make substantial steps in this regard.
The prime ministers reviewed and approved a SCO secretariat report on the implementation of a program of multilateral economic and trade cooperation. They approved the SCO budget for 2012, passing a series of solutions concerning financial and structural affairs of the SCO and signing a mid-term strategy paper for the group's banking alliance.
They also decided that the next meeting of SCO prime ministers will be held in Kyrgyzstan in 2012.