Member states of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) pledge to further deepen cooperation on jointly constructing an open world economy, according to a joint communique released here on Saturday.

The joint communique was issued following the 18th meeting of the Council of Heads of Government of Member States of the SCO held in the Uzbek capital of Tashkent.

Kazakh Prime Minister Askar Mamin, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, Kyrgyz Prime Minister Mukhammedkalyi Abylgaziev, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, Tajik Prime Minister Kokhir Rasulzoda, Uzbek Prime Minister Abdulla Aripov, and representatives from Pakistan and India attended the meeting.

According to the communique, the SCO member states called for consolidating an open, inclusive, transparent and non-discriminative multilateral trading system based on the rules of the World Trade Organisation, and said they oppose any form of unilateralism and protectionism in international and regional trade.

The next meeting of the Council of Heads of Government of Member States of the SCO will be held in India in 2020.

Increasing Inter-Connectivity

The SCO Member States agreed to further increase inter-connectivity in such areas as facilities, trade, culture and energy, and build a broad, open, mutually beneficial, win-win and equal space for cooperation in the Eurasian region to ensure reliable, safe and sustainable development, said the communique.

In the communique, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan reaffirmed their support for the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative.

The member states stressed that they should further promote mutually beneficial cooperation within the region, boost economic growth, expand cooperation in areas such as transportation, energy and industry, step up investment, bolster innovation and modern technology, and protect employment, said the communique.

They pointed out it is very important to continue to strengthen cooperation in the field of inter-connectivity, encourage innovation in transportation and application of efficient technologies, develop intermodal logistics centres, as well as highways, railways and other types of transportation, and build modern transportation infrastructure, it added.

Enhancing Practical Cooperation

The SCO member states stressed that improving people’s livelihood is one of the priorities of the SCO and vowed to enhance cooperation in areas including trade, industrial capacity, energy, transportation, investment, finance, agriculture, customs and telecommunications, said the communique.

They voiced support for further deepening regional cooperation, improving business environment and creating favourable conditions for expansion of mutual investment, it added.

The member states said they support the SCO in enhancing cooperation in the field of energy, taking measures to improve energy efficiency, and adopting advanced technologies for the clean use of traditional, renewable and other energy sources so as to realise a clean and energy-efficient economy, said the communique.

The SCO Member States find it necessary to strengthen mutually beneficial cooperation and exchange of experience in the field of digital economy, support the development of digital technology in accordance with the principle of fair competition, and oppose practices that impede the development of digital economy and communication technologies, said the communique.

They also support the expansion of cultural exchanges by jointly organising activities to promote mutual understanding among the people of the SCO member states, it said.