On 19 September 2018, the first meeting of SCO railway administration heads took place in Tashkent under the Uzbekistan chairmanship. At the meeting, heads of railway administrations from SCO member states were joined by their colleagues from observer states, including Afghanistan, Belarus, Iran and Mongolia, as well as from the SCO's dialogue partner Azerbaijan.
The delegation of the SCO Secretariat was headed by Deputy Secretary-General Xie Xiaoyun.
SCO Secretary-General Rashid Alimov sent his best regards to all the participants. In his message, he said that the meeting of SCO railway administration heads is a new format that is expected to facilitate efforts to deliver on the multi-faceted objective of promoting transport accessibility and connectivity across the SCO space in line with the requirements of today's world.
"Together with the development of motorways, promoting cooperation on railway transport among SCO member states is expected to spearhead infrastructure and logistics upgrades, including by expanding the network of international logistics hubs and creating a network of multimodal transport and logistics clusters along the main roads and railways," SCO Secretary-General said in a statement.
The heads of railway administrations exchanged views on making effective use of and expanding the transit potential of railways operated by SCO member states. They also reviewed a number of international legal instruments related to this mechanism, as well as integrated shipping management.
Participants agreed to hold the second meeting of SCO railway administration heads in Kazakhstan in 2019.
The gathering together of SCO railway administration heads is a new mechanism within the SCO established by the decision of SCO heads of state at the Qingdao Summit in June 2018.