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DUSHANBE (TCA) — On October 12 Tajikistan’s capital Dushanbe hosted a meeting of the heads of governments of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) member countries.

The meeting was attended by the Premier of the State Council of the People’s Republic of China Li Keqiang, Prime Ministers of the Russian Federation Dmitry Medvedev, the Kyrgyz Republic — Mukhammedkaliy Abylgaziyev, Tajikistan — Kokhir Rasulzoda, Uzbekistan — Abdulla Aripov, and Foreign Ministers of India Sushma Swaraj and the Islamic Republic of Pakistan — Hina Khar.

The Shanghai Cooperation Organization was established in 2001. The main objectives of the organization are to strengthen stability and security in a wide area uniting the member states, combating terrorism, separatism, extremism, drug trafficking, developing economic cooperation, energy partnership, and scientific and cultural interaction. Initially, the organization included Kazakhstan, Russia, China, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. In 2017, India and Pakistan became the SCO full members.

In a narrow format at the Dushanbe meeting, a thorough exchange of views took place on topical issues of the modern development of the world economy and further expansion of trade, economic and humanitarian cooperation within the framework of the SCO, the official website of the Prime Minister of Kazakhstan reported.

Attention was paid to the development prospects of small and medium-sized businesses of the member countries, enhancing investment cooperation, stimulating regional trade and promoting cultural and humanitarian projects through the SCO. All participants in the meeting noted the growing role and authority of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. It was also indicated that with the expansion of the membership and the accession of India and Pakistan, the potential of multilateral cooperation within the Organization increased significantly.

Heads of government delegations of the SCO observer states: Prime Ministers of Afghanistan Abdullah Abdullah and Belarus — Sergei Rumas, Deputy Prime Minister of Mongolia Ulziisaikhan Enkhtuvshin and Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Iran Hussein Ansori also participated in the meeting in an extended format.

The participants reviewed the implementation of the Program of multilateral trade and economic cooperation of the SCO member states, as well as heard reports on the work of the Business Council and the Interbank Association of the SCO. Special attention was paid to the development of trade, including electronic, and deepening cooperation in the field of investment, infrastructure, transport, energy, agriculture, and digitalization. In addition, the meeting raised issues of ensuring cybersecurity and strengthening the region in the fight against terrorism, extremism and drug trafficking.

The government of Kazakhstan has proposed a number of initiatives to enhance trade, economic and investment cooperation within the framework of the SCO.

Proposals were made to create a platform for the exchange of experience in the field of digitalization and new technologies, development of cooperation in the field of investment, electronic commerce, modern information and telecommunication technologies. In addition, the need for the joint organization of multimodal transportation and the creation of an extensive network of transport infrastructure was indicated, which will stimulate the development of regional trade and expand access of the national products of the SCO countries to world markets.

In addition, the Prime Minister of Kazakhstan Bakytzhan Sagintayev invited financial institutions of the SCO member states to take an active part in the work of the Astana International Financial Center.

The next meeting of the SCO Head of Government Council will be held in Uzbekistan next year.

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