Kazakh PM offers specific proposals to increase SCO cooperation 

NUR-SULTAN – Kazakh Prime Minister Askar Mamin proposed during the Nov. 1-2 18th Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Heads of Government Council in Tashkent various initiatives to strengthen trade, investment, digitisation and transport cooperation within the SCO.

Photo Credit: primeminister.kz.

His suggestions included intensifying work to create the SCO Development Bank and SCO Development Fund and creating a road map to increase the share of national currencies in mutual settlements among SCO members, as well as renewing meetings among member states’ finance ministers and central bank heads. 

Mamin suggested SCO observer states join member countries in accelerating the acquisition of an automated system to issue permit forms for transporting goods and approving a joint road development programme.

Country participants would also benefit from their national chambers of entrepreneurs’ involvement in the SCO Multilateral Trade and Economic Cooperation Programme, he added. Mamin also stressed the importance of developing a unified list of SCO investment projects for “its promotion in contacts of the SCO Secretariat with international financial institutions,” reported the press service.

At the extended meeting, Mamin stressed the need to develop trade and economic cooperation through multilateral dialogue among the SCO, Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU), Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and European Union (EU). Coordinating with large regional associations is the third geopolitical direction of the Three Dialogues initiative proposed by Kazakhstan’s First President Nursultan Nazarbayev earlier this year.

Mamin also suggested SCO members consider the Astana International Financial Centre as a test site for their financial products and technologies.

“Today, fintech companies from China, Russia and Uzbekistan have already been using this opportunity,” he said.

He also proposed creating the Council for Digital Economy Development.

“The council could become a platform for the development of a mutually beneficial partnership for the introduction in our countries of new technological elements such as 5G, Smart Cities, big data, block chain and digital assets, as well as the construction and deployment of data centres, the development of data transit and participation of digital services in the global market,” he said.

Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev called on SCO countries to use the International Centre for the Development of Green Technologies and Investment Projects created in Kazakhstan to exchange best practices and develop sustainable growth strategies.

“President of Kazakhstan Kassym-Jomart Tokayev believes that the role and potential of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation has not exhausted itself. This organisation has a great future,” said Mamin.

The SCO adopted 14 documents including a joint communiqué, new version of the Multilateral Trade and Economic Cooperation Programme, Concept for the Interaction of the Railway Administrations of the SCO Member States, Regulations of the SCO Economic Analytical Centre Consortium and Development Programme of ecological well-being of SCO cities.

SCO member states are China, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan.