On 7 June 2017, Astana hosted a meeting of the SCO Business Council's Board in the run-up to the summit of SCO Heads of State, with the Kazakhstani side chairing the event. SCO Secretary General Rashid Alimov attended the meeting.
Representatives from India and Pakistan were invited to attend for the first time.
Mr. Alimov praised the activities of the Business Council and the presiding side's efforts and in particular Raimbek Batalov, SCO Business Council's Board's Chairman to implement the intra-SCO trade and economic cooperation projects. Speaking about more active long-term cooperation, Mr. Alimov noted the need to chart new approaches in the work of the SCO's public organisations that would determine the rapidly developing intra-SCO economic cooperation track. He said the idea of holding the first joint forum of SCO public associations, the Business Council and the Inter-Bank Association, on 8 June 2017 was timely and urged them to "take a more active part in intra-SCO processes and to become one of the main driving forces of economic cooperation on the vast Eurasian continent."
In his speech, Raimbek Batalov, Chairman of the SCO Business Council's Board and the Council of the Forum of Kazakhstan's Entrepreneurs, noted the importance of closer cooperation between SCO public organisations and said the Business Council's members were ready to take an active part in working-group meetings on matters within their remit.
The participants discussed issues linked with the Business Council's current activities and charted high-priority trade and economic and investment cooperation projects, with due consideration for the Organisation's expansion.
Meeting participants signed a concluding protocol after the event.
The SCO Business Council is a non-governmental organisation bringing together SCO business and financial circles. The Council was established on 14 June 2006 in Shanghai in the People's Republic of China for streamlining business contacts in various areas and involving financial institutions in the implementation of multilateral intra-SCO projects.
Members of the Business Council's Republic of Kazakhstan national section will preside in the SCO Business Council's Board from 1 January until 31 December 2017.