The SCO Secretary-General: The SCO countries have a huge potential for boosting enterprise. Beijing hosts a meeting of young entrepreneurs and business leaders from SCO countries

Beijing hosts a meeting of young entrepreneurs and business leaders from SCO countries

On 16 December 2018, the SCO Headquarters in Beijing hosted a themed meeting with young people from the SCO countries. The theme this time was Youth Enterprise in the SCO: Current State and New Horizons.
"The SCO has a clear youth strategy. It is based on a desire to create an additional foothold for 803 million people aged between 17 and 23, or nearly half of the world's young people in this age group," SCO Secretary-General Rashid Alimov said in his opening remarks. He recalled that the key parameters of this strategy were outlined in the Joint Appeal to Youth and the Action Plan for its implementation adopted by the SCO leaders at the Qingdao summit.
"A key element of the SCO youth strategy is the creation and promotion of joint economic and humanitarian initiatives aimed at involving young people in business activities and innovative projects," Rashid Alimov noted, adding that the SCO Secretariat is actively contributing to the implementation of the organisation's youth policy. "With this aim in view we have launched a series of youth projects so as to create an opportunity for an open dialogue and exchange of opinions on a broad SCO agenda, including youth enterprise."
"The SCO space has the world's largest market with a solvent demand, which is expected to continue to grow faster than the world's average. The average GDP growth rate in the SCO space was 4.84 percent in 2016 and 5.19 percent in 2017. In 2016, the SCO member states accounted for 11 percent of the world's total foreign direct investment (FDI). In 2017, the figure increased to 12.51 percent or $245 billion, boosting industrial production and facilitating the establishment of new companies," the SCO Secretary-General said.
Rashid Alimov highlighted the organisation's potential for new business ideas, in particular in the tourism industry and cited figures provided by the World Tourism Organisation, according to which over 200 million tourists visited the SCO countries in 2017, increasing their tourism revenues to $100 billion (this figure does not include tourists' personal expenses).
"The SCO member states continue working to stimulate and create favourable conditions for business cooperation, promote interstate business projects and improve the legal framework for business development," the SCO Secretary-General said. He expressed the belief that these joint efforts would help open up new opportunities for business people.
Other speakers at the opening ceremony were Executive Secretary of the SCO Business Council Sergei Kanavsky and Victoria Khu, a co-founder and chair of the SCO Countries Youth League at the SCO Secretariat.
The meeting participants exchanged opinions on the importance of innovations and enterprise for the SCO countries' sustainable economic development and on creating a platform where business leaders and young professionals would exchange ideas and share experience.
Taking part in the discussions were Executive Secretary of the SCO Business Council Sergei Kanavsky, active members of the SCO Countries Youth League and the Beijing Hub of the Global Shapers Community, delegates from Innoway and the Skolkovo Foundation, as well as young entrepreneurs from China, Pakistan, Tajikistan and Sri Lanka plus journalists.
Before the meeting, SCO Secretary-General Rashid Alimov met with Executive Secretary of the SCO Business Council Sergei Kanavsky.
The SCO Secretariat regularly organises meetings with young people as part of its practical efforts to carry out the Joint Appeal to Youth and the Action Plan for its implementation.