On 19 September 2018, Dushanbe, Republic of Tajikistan, hosted the 17th Meeting of SCO Senior Officials in Charge of Trade and Economic Cooperation (hereinafter the Meeting).
The Meeting was attended by Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of India to Tajikistan Shri Somnath Ghosh, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Kazakhstan to Tajikistan Nurlan Seitimov, Assistant Minister of Commerce of the People's Republic of China Li Chenggang, Deputy Minister of Economy of the Kyrgyz Republic Eldar Alisherov, Deputy Minister of Economic Development of the Russian Federation Azer Mutalim oglu Talibov, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan to Tajikistan Imtiaz Ahmad Kazi, Minister of Economic Development and Trade of the Republic of Tajikistan Nematullo Khikmatullozoda and Minister of Foreign Trade of the Republic of Uzbekistan Jamshid Khodjaev.
Deputy SCO Secretary-General Nurlan Akkoshkarov and Executive Secretary of the SCO Business Council Sergei Kanavsky also took part in the Meeting.
Minister of Economic Development and Trade of the Republic of Tajikistan Nematullo Khikmatullozoda chaired the meeting.
Meeting participants reviewed a wide range of issues regarding further expansion and deepening of regional economic cooperation and also exchanged opinions on the state and prospects for trade, economic and investment cooperation among SCO member states. The Meeting was held in a constructive and friendly atmosphere.
The heads of delegations underscored the importance of further expanding mutual cooperation aimed at consistently strengthening an open, inclusive, transparent, multilateral and non-discriminatory trade system, as well as efforts to prevent any unilateral trade protectionism. It was noted that the World Trade Organisation remained a key venue for discussing the international trade agenda and for adopting authoritative and effective multilateral trade regulations.
The heads of delegations took into account the SCO Secretariat draft report on implementing the programme of multilateral trade and economic cooperation between SCO member states and recommended submitting it, under the established procedure, to a regular meeting of the SCO Heads of Government (Prime Ministers) Council, scheduled for 11-12 October 2018 in Dushanbe, the Republic of Tajikistan, for approval.
The officials heard an SCO Secretariat report about the activities of special working groups, involved in the ministerial Meeting. Members of these working groups were tasked to more actively implement SCO policy and regular documents dealing with economic issues.
They approved regulations on a special SCO working group for customs cooperation.
The sides unanimously confirmed their intention to continue creating a favourable environment for those involved in SCO member countries' economic activities and to continue working on the relevant SCO documents dealing with cooperation in services trade and e-commerce.
The participants heard a report by Uzbekistan on a draft programme for expanding inter-regional cooperation between SCO member states.
The representative of the SCO Business Council informed those present about the work of these agencies in 2017-2018 and their top-priority tasks for 2019.
The Republic of Uzbekistan is to host the next ministerial meeting in 2019.
The heads of SCO member state delegations signed a protocol based on the results of the ministerial meeting.