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SCO – India’s extended neighborhood

This will be the first Prime Minister level meeting to be hosted by India since its elevation as a full-member of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, SCO.

India will also be hosting two Ministerial-level meetings of SCO Member States. The Justice Ministers and the Ministers of Foreign Economic and Trade Activities are scheduled to meet before the CHG. Trade Ministers are expected to meet on 28th October.

All the member states have supported India’s initiatives in the run up to the Heads of Government meet in New Delhi.
In the run-up to the CHG Meeting, India has taken lot of initiatives in a wide range of areas. India hosted a Preparatory Seminar on Start-up Forum on 11th August and the first-ever meeting of Consortium of Economic Think-Tanks on 21-22 August.

Both the events were attended by all the SCO Member States through Video Conferencing.
India has also planned for many events and meetings to be held before the CHG in November, which include Cooperation in Traditional Medicine, Two meetings of Senior Officials Commission on External Economy and Trade, first-ever SCO Start-up Forum, Special Working Group on Innovation and Startups, first-ever SCO Young Scientists Conclave, Exhibition on Shared Buddhist Heritage, etc.

This affords India an opportunity to contribute in a substantive way to the trade and economic agenda of the SCO that is the main mandate of the summit in November, Secretary (West) in the External Affairs Ministry, Vikas Swarup said at a webinar last week.

He described the SCO as a “vibrant organization” that has emerged as a key regional organization in the Eurasian space in the past two decades of its existence.

India attaches great importance to SCO as it provides an excellent platform for India to connect with its extended neighbourhood.

This year’s SCO Summit or SCO Heads of State Council meeting is scheduled for November and will be held as a video conference.

SCO Foreign ministers meet which concluded in Moscow today discussed about preparations for the upcoming SCO Summit.

SCO Heads of State council and Heads of Government Council are two independent mechanisms which focus on political & security related matters and trade and economy related matters respectively.

India joined the SCO as an observer in 2005 and became a full member alongwith Pakistan in 2017.

SCO, an eight-nation regional grouping that represents around 42% of the world’s population and 20% of the global GDP, gives wings to India’s desire to deepen its Eurasian partnerships.

More than a decade of engagement with the organisation, underscores India’s willingness to play a more meaningful role in this regional grouping.
 

ANSHUMAN MISHRA/BEIJING/10-09-2020

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