On 11-12 April 2018, Tashkent hosted the 10th meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation Special Working Group on Development of Transit Potential, chaired by Uzbekistan.
The meeting was attended by Deputy Minister for Foreign Trade of the Republic of Uzbekistan Sakhib Saifnazarov, SCO Deputy Secretary-General Aziz Nosirov and a representative of the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) Secretariat, Bekhzod Rakhmatov.
Addressing the gathering, Mr Saifnazarov pointed out that "cooperation carried out by the SCO member states is aimed at promoting the reconstruction and development of corresponding infrastructure of both internal and trans-border significance and at ensuring the effective use of transport and communications potential throughout the SCO."
Experts discussed a draft programme for the development of automobile roads in the SCO member states, which stipulates the implementation on a long-term basis of a set of measures designed to improve the competitiveness of SCO member states on the international market of transport services, as well as the expansion of international trade and wider economic activities.
Special attention was paid to the implementation of corresponding provisions of the 2016-2020 Action Plan that is part of the SCO Development Strategy towards 2025, as well as the List of Measures to Promote Project Activities within the SCO in 2017-2021, especially with regard to transport cooperation. The participants exchanged views on prospects for improving transport infrastructure and transit, creating favourable conditions for the development of international transit corridors and building effective transport and logistics infrastructure within the SCO framework.
The Uzbek side presented its version of a draft agreement on the creation and functioning of an integrated transport management system. Also, it informed its colleagues about an international conference to be held in Uzbekistan in autumn 2018, entitled "Central Asia in the System of International Transport Corridors: Strategic Prospects and Untapped Opportunities."
The SCO Special Working Group on Development of Transit Potential was set up in Tashkent on 28 May 2004, with the Republic of Uzbekistan as its permanent chair.
The group exchanges opinions on and examines issues related to the development of transport infrastructure and transit, including pilot projects for the development of regional transport corridors.