On 21-22 September 2017, a delegation of the SCO Secretariat headed by Deputy SCO Secretary-General Aziz Nosirov took part in the 2017 Euro-Asia Economic Forum in Xi'an, Shaanxi Province of the People's Republic of China. Guests from foreign countries, representatives of international organizations, academic and business circles from over 40 countries and regions were also invited.
Vice Premier of the People's Republic of China State Council Wang Yang spoke at the opening ceremony. He noted the common desire of participants to discuss the process of national economies' integration with the One Belt One Road initiative. SCO member states attach great importance to the intra-SCO Agreement on International Road Transportation Facilitation, issues concerning customs and banking cooperation, as well as more profound interaction in the area of online trading. In particular, Wang Yang suggested the establishment of an Online Trading Association of SCO member states.
In the afternoon, forum participants attended a roundtable discussion involving heads of SCO member states' regions on inter-regional cooperation and efforts to ensure the integration between national development strategies.
Mr Nosirov read out a message from SCO Secretary-General Rashid Alimov to participants at the roundtable discussion. The message noted the importance of establishing closer ties between regions of the SCO, which is an important component of the countries' efforts to expand mutually beneficial trade and economic and cultural-humanitarian cooperation.
"Inter-regional cooperation is becoming a more important factor in the area of intra-SCO practical economic cooperation. It is making a weighty contribution to strengthening neighborliness, friendship and mutually beneficial trade and economic cooperation as well as cultural-humanitarian exchanges," the SCO Secretary-General's message noted.
The roundtable discussion participants exchanged opinions on promising aspects of economic cooperation between regions of SCO member states. They came out with proposals aimed at expanding business cooperation in various economic spheres. While noting an initiative to establish the Forum of Heads of Regions, the participants agreed that it was necessary to launch a search for new forms, areas and tools of inter-regional cooperation.
In their speeches, members of the Chinese, Kazakh and Russian delegations spoke on strategic aspects of inter-regional cooperation, the mutual permeability of regional economies, as well as their structure and cooperation mechanism.
During the roundtable discussion, Deputy SCO Secretary-General Aziz Nosirov also had a protocol meeting with Wei Zengjun, Deputy Head of the People's Government of Shaanxi Province.
The biannual Euro-Asia Economic Forum is an international economic cooperation platform in Eurasia which includes countries of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation. Xi'an has been hosting the event every two years since 2005. Today, the Euro-Asia Economic Forum has become China's visiting card and an important trade and economic event that links China's western regions with the outside world. It also serves as an attractive platform for establishing trade and economic contacts between countries located along the Great Silk Road.
The issue of further strengthening and expanding multifaceted cooperation between regions and administrative-territorial units of SCO member states is stipulated by the SCO's Astana Declaration, adopted by heads of state following the 9 June 2017 summit.