NUR-SULTAN – The mutual trade of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) member states increased by nearly 40 percent in the first seven months of 2021. This was announced by Kazakh Prime Minister Askar Mamin, who chaired the 20th anniversary meeting of the SCO Council of Heads of Government on Nov. 25.
The event was held virtually.
The implementation of the Program of Multilateral Trade and Economic Cooperation of the SCO Member States observed a progress this year, reported the Kazakh Prime Minister’s Office.
The trade turnover of Kazakhstan with the SCO member states grew by 19.1 percent this year compared to the same period in 2020 and reached $36.5 billion.
According to Mamin, it is necessary to stimulate trade in agricultural products between the SCO member states, and to ensure an accelerated and phased implementation of the Program of Cooperation of the SCO member states on food security. In 2020, trade in agricultural products within the SCO increased by 12.4 percent and reached $15.4 billion.
The Kazakh Prime Minister proposed to launch a food security reserve among the SCO member states and a food investment fund, and to intensify work on the implementation of the SCO Green Belt Program.
Further integration of the SCO member states into the Eurasian trade and commodity distribution system initiated by Kazakhstan was also brought up and discussed.
The transit and transport sector within the SCO also showed positive results. This year, approximately 883,200 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) were transported through Kazakhstan to Central Asia, the countries of the Persian Gulf, Europe, the Far East, and along the Trans-Caspian route, which is 25 percent more than the same period last year. The transit container traffic in the direction of China-Europe-China increased by 36 percent and reached 604,500 TEUs.
“The Belt and Road Initiative, the programs initiated by the Kazakh government, and the development of transport infrastructure as part of the SCO Development Strategy 2025 will contribute to the integration of our countries and build up the potential for the output of the value to the markets of third countries,” said Mamin.
Indian External Affairs Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, Premier of the State Council of China Li Keqiang, Chairman of the Cabinet of Ministers and Head of the President’s Administration of Kyrgyzstan Akylbek Zhaparov, Prime Minister of Russia Mikhail Mishustin, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Pakistan Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Prime Minister of Tajikistan Kokhir Rasulzoda, Prime Minister of Uzbekistan Abdulla Aripov, Prime Minister of Belarus Roman Golovchenko, Prime Minister of Mongolia Oyun-Erdene Luvsannamsrai, First Vice President of Iran Mohammad Mokhber, Deputy Chairman of the Cabinet of Ministers of Turkmenistan Serdar Berdimuhamedov also attended the meeting.
The SCO comprises eight member states including India, Kazakhstan, China, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. Traditionally, the SCO Heads of Government Council holds meetings once a year to discuss multilateral cooperation strategy and priority areas, and current important economic and other cooperation issues.