Following the the results of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation Heads of State Council Meeting, which was held on June 8-9 in Astana, SCO Secretary-General Rashid Alimov gave an interview to the correspondent of the "Renminwang". Below is the text of the interview.
"Renminwang": Mr Alimov, the SCO Interbank Consortium has traditionally met ahead of the SCO Summit. Why was this meeting special?
Rashid Alimov: The SCO Interbank Consortium (SCO IBC) is a public platform of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation. The SCO Interbank Consortium was established in accordance with the Agreement on Interbank Cooperation (Consortium) within the SCO dated 26 October 2005. Our goal was to create 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 current members of the SCO IBC are the leading financial institutions of the SCO member states: the Development Bank of Kazakhstan, the State Development Bank of China, the Settlement & Savings Company of the Kyrgyz Republic (RSK Bank), the Russian Bank for Development and Foreign Economic Affairs (Vnesheconombank), the State Savings Bank of the Republic of Tajikistan (Amonatbonk) and the National Bank for Foreign Economic Activity of the Republic of Uzbekistan.
Since its establishment, the SCO IBC has admitted new members, increasing its geography. For example, the status of partner bank was granted to Savings Bank Belarusbank in 2012, Habib Bank Limited (HBL Pakistan) in 2015 and the Development Bank of Mongolia in 2016. The IBC Council is now analysing admission applications from Azerbaijan and Armenia.
I believe that the admission of a powerful new partner, the financial institution of the Republic of India, which is currently under discussion, will open up new horizons in the area of mutually beneficial banking and financial cooperation within the SCO.
This year we will mark 10 years of the Cooperation Agreement signed between the SCO IBC and the SCO Business Council. The first joint forum of the SCO IBC and the SCO Business Council has become the first step towards adding zest to practical cooperation between the SCO's two leading public platforms. There are grounds to believe that such forums will become a tradition.
"Renminwang": The SCO Mid-Term Development Strategy (2017-2022) has been signed at the SCO IBC meeting. Will this strategy become the SCO IBC's roadmap for the near future? What is its practical worth?
Rashid Alimov: The SCO Mid-Term Development Strategy (2017-2022), which the SCO IBC Council has adopted, is a very important document. It will replace the previous strategy, which was in force until 2016.
I would like to say that we went to considerable lengths to prepare and coordinate the new strategy. The document has been updated to take into account new realities and the areas of trade and economic cooperation that have been outlined in the SCO Development Strategy until 2025, which the SCO heads of state adopted in 2016 in Tashkent.
The updated strategy provides a clearer view of the organisation's principles and goals in light of our common objectives, which include updating the priorities of joint activities in the context of current economic development goals, widening the scope of activities by involving the financial institutions of observer states and dialogue partners, and monitoring the implementation of joint regional investment projects. For example, we plan to implement transnational infrastructure projects in the area of transport logistics and work together with the SCO Business Council to select and implement trade and economic cooperation projects.
A new goal has been added to the strategy, which is the SCO IBC's contribution to consolidating approaches to the Silk Road Economic Belt initiative. This is a topical initiative because the SCO is located at the heart of the large-scale transformations underway in Eurasia. The SCO IBC cannot remain on the sidelines of the member states' efforts to align their national programmes to this initiative. The search for new models will ultimately offer unprecedented new opportunities for developing business, trade and investment and also for implementing major projects within the SCO.
To sum up, the updated strategy mirrors our ability to look into the future and beyond the horizon. There are solid grounds to believe in success on the cooperation avenues outlined in the strategy. Most importantly, this strategy gives our potential partners a clearer view of our goals and objectives as we move towards modernisation and innovation-based development of the SCO economies.