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ISLAMABAD, December 15. /TASS/. Russian thinks it important to expand trade-and-economic cooperation within the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), Russian Ambassador to Pakistan Alexei Dedov said on Monday.
“The Shanghai Cooperation Organization has a unique place in the global economy,” he said at a conference dedicated to Pakistan’s prospects to have a full-fledged membership in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. It is one of the biggest markets in the world: its full-fledged members account for 60% of land in Eurasia and its population plus observer states is about the half of the Earth’s population.”
The Russian ambassador noted positive tendencies in bilateral trade and investment cooperation among the SCO member states. In this context, over the year of its presidency /in 2014-2015/, Russia “will focus on launching large-scale multi-lateral economic projects, primarily in the areas of transport, energy, science and technology, peaceful use of space,” he said. “Russia thinks it important to expand cooperation within the organization in the area of exchange of technologies, attracting investments, encouraging joint projects in the agricultural sector and environment protection.”
“On December 1-2, experts from the SCO member states along with representatives from Afghanistan discussed in Ufa the issues of forming a common transport network of the organization, including with the use of the transit potential of Transsib (Trans-Siberian railway, BAM (Baikal-Amur railway), and the New Silk Road,” Dedov noted.
“The first step on bringing together the transport space of the SCO by means of transport routes was the agreement on favourable conditions for motor shipments that was signed in Dushanbe in September.” Apart from that, on December 3 Moscow hosted a SCO Business Dialogue forum that focused on project cooperation between the SCO member countries in the investment and energy sectors.
“The development of The SCO Energy Club was also discussed,” he said. “As of today, all necessary documents are ready, variants of financing of this project have been agreed, talks have been held with a number of companies on their possible participation in it.”
Currently, members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization are Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan. Mongolia, India, Iran, Pakistan, and Afghanistan enjoy the observer status. In September 2014, Pakistan and India officially applied for full-fledged membership in the organization. Iran also seeks such membership. Sri Lanka and Armenia have applied for an observer status. Belarus, Sri Lanka and Turkey have a status of a dialogue partner.