China proposes six platforms for SCO cooperation

ZHENGZHOU, Dec. 15 (Xinhua) — Premier Li Keqiang on Tuesday proposed that the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) establish six platforms for cooperation in areas including security, production capacity and connectivity.

The other three platforms he mentioned are financial cooperation, regional trade cooperation and cooperation on social affairs and improving people’s lives.

The Shanghai Cooperation Organization, while paying attention to the the three traditional areas of security, economy, and civilian exchanges, should focus on building six platforms of cooperation to push for concrete achievements, Li said while presiding over a meeting of prime ministers from the SCO member states held in the central Chinese city of Zhengzhou.

The SCO should cement the existing security cooperation mechanism, accelerate an agreement on border defense cooperation, move toward an anti-extremism pact and support Afghanistan‘s national reconciliation process, said Li.

He said the platform could provide a reliable “safe environment” for regional development.

The SCO should establish a production capacity cooperation mechanism under which China is willing to provide SCO members with its mature technology, equipment and contracting services, Li said.

China can also co-build factories to increase local employment opportunities. Such cooperation between China and Kazakhstan has proven fruitful with more than 10 projects already or about to be launched, said Li, adding that China would like to promote such experience to other countries according to their needs.

The SCO should speed up connectivity among members. Major railway and highway projects will be undertaken to establish a central Asia-centered traffic network for Eurasia, the premier said.

He also proposed improving the efficiency of the China-Europe train service, building an international logistics park in east China’s Lianyungang and beefing up cooperation in satellite navigation.

Li called for improving the financial cooperation mechanism. He called for the steady expansion of the SCO Interbank Consortium, which will fund large projects. China will consider the establishment of SCO development bank with related parties when the time is ripe, while promoting the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) and New Development Bank for the BRICS to support SCO members’ projects, Li said.

China has provided 27.1 billion dollars of credit line to SCO members. The China-Eurasia Economic Cooperation Fund, which aims to support SCO members, observers and dialogue partners, has launched investment in its first group of projects, he added.

In addition, SCO members should establish a regional trade cooperation mechanism, said Li. He called on commerce ministers to take measures to ensure easier clearance, proposing the establishment of an SCO e-commerce alliance to facilitate transnational e-business.

SCO members should also encourage cooperation in culture, food safety and environment. Cooperation in agriculture, forestry, animal husbandry and fishery needs to be strengthened to ensure food safety and safeguard the environment, said Li.

He called for more convenient visa policies to promote tourism and personnel exchanges. He also promised scholarships for 20,000 students from SCO members annually in the next five years and training for 2,000 people within three years.

The SCO currently has six members — China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan, with Afghanistan, India, Iran, Mongolia, Pakistan and Belarus as observers.

Government heads of all the six member states attended the meeting. Some leaders and officials from SCO observers and dialogue partners were also present.

The prime ministers signed a joint communique, a resolution on trade cooperation and another resolution on preparations for the SCO development bank and fund, among other documents.

Kyrgyzstan will host next year’s meeting.


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