On 19 September 2018, Dushanbe hosted the 17th meeting of the Council of External Trade and Economy Ministers of the SCO Member States. The meeting was chaired by Minister of Economic Development and Trade of Tajikistan Negmatullo Hikmatullozoda.
The meeting focused on the preparation for the second most important SCO meeting this year, the meeting of the SCO Heads of Government Council scheduled for 11-12 October 2018 in Dushanbe.
SCO Secretary-General Rashid Alimov sent a message of greetings to the participants in the meeting. He noted the importance of the further expansion of economic cooperation across the SCO and the need to achieve the SCO's programme goals and tasks set forth in the SCO Development Strategy Towards 2025. "The development of trade and economic cooperation is one of the top priorities of the cooperation within the SCO. The Qingdao Declaration of the Council of Heads of State emphasised the importance of deepening regional economic cooperation to ensure sustainable socioeconomic development," the message reads.
Mr Alimov also stressed that "the current potential and newly emerging opportunities in coordinating international, regional and national development programmes and strategies can be successfully converted into specific joint projects in transport, energy, communications, infrastructure and agriculture."
During the meeting, the participants reviewed a number of multilateral programmes and documents of the trade and economic cooperation of the SCO member countries and discussed other major trade and economic issues on the current agenda.
The SCO information stand was displayed at the ministerial meeting, with key information on the status of trade and economic cooperation and economic indicators of the SCO member states. Its diagrams, charts and illustrations gave the ministers detailed information on the GDP growth dynamic, the growth rates of international trade of the SCO member countries, and the scale of direct foreign investment in the economies of the eight SCO countries.
The participants signed a protocol following the meeting. A press release was issued on its results.
An SCO Secretariat delegation headed by SCO Deputy Secretary-General Nurlan Akkoshkarov took part in the meeting.
The Council of External Trade and Economy Ministers of the SCO Member States is aimed at developing trade, economic and investment cooperation between the SCO countries.