SCO Interbank Consortium: Towards renewal and broader cooperation

The meeting of the SCO Interbank Consortium (SCO IBC)

The meeting of the SCO Interbank Consortium (SCO IBC) in Astana on 8 June 2017 was chaired by Bolat Zhamishev, Chairman of the Council of the SCO Interbank Consortium and CEO of the Development Bank of Kazakhstan.

SCO Secretary-General Rashid Alimov, who attended the meeting, praised the efforts of the Development Bank of Kazakhstan to promote cooperation with the financial institutions of the SCO countries and called on the Interbank Consortium to build up its ties with the SCO Business Council within the Cooperation Agreement signed 10 years ago.

"The SCO Summit will open in Astana tomorrow. Based on its results, we will adopt a history-making decision on making India and Pakistan full members. The admission of these two powers, which are respected not only in the region but also the whole world, will certainly strengthen the SCO and broaden its potential and capability. This will also have a positive effect on the SCO IBC, which is an effective instrument of banking, financial and investment cooperation within the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation," Rashid Alimov said.

A final protocol was adopted at the meeting.

The agenda of the event included the signing of the further development strategy of the SCO IBC for the middle term (2017-2022) and a memorandum on the fundamental principles of partner relations between the SCO IBC and China's Silk Road Fund.

"The updated development strategy of the SCO IBC includes the objectives and the expected results of our activities. The SCO IBC, as a major financial integration platform in Eurasia, is interested in the development of new financial instruments and the attraction of new funding sources for the implementation of major transnational investment projects. We will work together with the Silk Road Fund to analyse the possible forms of the Fund's involvement in the SCO IBC's activities," Chairman of the Council of the SCO Interbank Consortium Bolat Zhamishev said after the signing of the two documents.

The SCO Interbank Consortium was established in accordance with the Agreement on Interbank Cooperation (Consortium) within the SCO dated 26 October 2005. The SCO IBC is a mechanism for financing and providing banking services to investment projects supported by the governments of the SCO member states in priority areas of cooperation. The Development Bank of Kazakhstan is the current chair of the SCO Interbank Consortium for the period from 26 October 2016 to 25 October 2017.

The Consortium's mid-term development strategy for 2011-2016 was adopted in St Petersburg in 2011 to update the priorities of joint activities in the context of current economic development goals of the SCO member states, widen the scope of activities by involving the financial institutions of observer states and dialogue partners and monitor the implementation of joint regional investment projects.

The $40 billion Silk Road Fund was established by China on 29 December 2014 in Beijing to support the infrastructure projects that will be implemented within the Belt and Road Initiative.