The first joint forum of the SCO Interbank Consortium and the SCO Business Council took place in Astana on 8 June 2017, on the eve of the SCO summit of heads of state.
SCO Secretary-General Rashid Alimov took part in the forum.
This was the first time that SCO banking, finance and business representatives gathered to discuss the prospects for expanding and activating cooperation on developing trade and export financing by banks in the SCO area.
In his remarks at the event, Mr Alimov highlighted the growing role of the SCO Interbank Consortium and the SCO Business Council in promoting economic and investment cooperation between banks and business circles in the SCO region in the context of the upcoming summit and the accession of two new member states — India and Pakistan — to the SCO.
Mr Alimov called the forum a timely event and said he was sure that the participants "would be able to identify joint points of growth and economic cooperation directions to use the full potential that the SCO's leading public economic organisations offer."
Mr Alimov called on the participants to make use of the opportunities offered by the SCO pavilion at EXPO Astana 2017 international exhibition to provide information support for the SCO's work, and invited them to be co-founders of the SCO Economic Forum, to be held on the eve of the SCO meeting of ministers responsible for foreign economic activity.
"The forum could serve as an academic and practical platform for a broad exchange of views on a wide range of multifaceted economic cooperation with the financial, business and analytic communities' involvement," Mr Alimov said.
The forum participants confirmed the event's timely and relevant nature and highlighted the importance of organising and broadening joint cooperation in priority areas.
"The initiative proposed by the Development Bank of Kazakhstan to broaden cooperation between the banks in the SCO Interbank Consortium aims to increase exports between the SCO countries. This initiative would make a substantial contribution to developing economic cooperation in the SCO region and provide an effective platform for fusing the interests of both organisations in developing the SCO's economic dimension," said Chairman of the Development Bank of Kazakhstan Bolat Zhamishev.
The SCO Interbank Consortium and the SCO Business Council are non-governmental organisations that bring together representatives from the SCO business and financial communities to finance and provide banking services for investment projects and organise business ties in priority cooperation areas within the SCO.
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 Kazakhstan national part of the SCO Business Council chairs the SCO Business Council Board from 1 January to 31 December 2017.