World Economy

Economic Coop. Within SCO to Reach New Level

Economic Coop. Within SCO to Reach New LevelEconomic Coop. Within SCO to Reach New Level

The heads of governments of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) member states will discuss new opportunities for expanding trade and economic cooperation within the body at a meeting in China this autumn, Secretary-General of the SCO Dmitry Mezentsev told TASS Tuesday.

“Regional safety and stability were top priority for the SCO in its infancy but several years later the leadership of the Shanghai family member states jointly defined the program of trade and economic cooperation and its implementation plan as one of the most important core documents,” Mezentsev said, adding that he is confident “the heads of the government council of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization will pay special attention to trade and economic cooperation at a meeting in China this autumn.”

The secretary-general also noted the organization’s aim to move the work with observer states (Afghanistan, India, Iran, Mongolia, Pakistan) to a new level, which will be triggered by adoption of “the Shanghai family” development strategy till 2025 at a July meeting of the heads of member states in Ufa, the capital of Russia’s Republic of Bashkortostan.

“The document will define the development of the SCO for the next 10 years. In substance, this will be an application for a more convincing positioning of the organization in the region and its readiness for a bigger role in international agenda,” he said.

The SCO delegation headed by its secretary-general is participating in the 71th annual session of the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and Pacific Region, launched on Monday in Bangkok and will continue till May 29.

Iran, India and Pakistan, as well as Mongolia and Afghanistan currently have observer status, while Belarus, Turkey and Sri Lanka are the alliance’s dialogue partners.

  Afghan Crisis

The SCO is extremely interested in finding a peaceful solution to the crisis in Afghanistan, Mezentsev told RIA Novosti.

“The SCO activity in the political-diplomatic sphere, granting Afghanistan observer status in 2012… is the greatest sign of the organization’s interest in solving the Afghan issue peacefully,” Mezentsev said.

He stated that all SCO heads called for the resolution of the crisis in Afghanistan by the people of that country during the summit in Beijing in 2012. He said that drug trafficking is one of the worst issues in the country.

According to the SCO head, the organization’s member states are actively increasing their cooperation in anti-drug trafficking. The organization is successfully implementing its anti-narcotic strategy, Mezentsev said.

Afghanistan participated in the work of the SCO earlier this month as an observer.

Chinese State Councilor Yang Jiechi held a meeting with Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev in Moscow on Monday and the two discussed issues concerning bilateral ties and the current global situation.

They agreed that China will fully support Russia’s efforts to hold the BRICS and SCO summits in Ufa.

Beijing and Moscow will constructively cooperate in the Asia-Pacific region in a bid to jointly uphold regional peace, stability and prosperity.