Interview: SCO stands for formation of open world economy, says secretary general

.

BEIJING, March 12 (Xinhua) — The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) supports the formation of an open global economy, the newly appointed SCO secretary general Vladimir Norov has said.

The process of economic globalization is facing an increase in unilateral and protectionist measures, the continuing development slowdown, as well as challenges in international trade, which affect the economic development of the SCO member states, Norov said in a recent interview with Xinhua.

Against such a background, the member states are in favor of deepening interaction in order to meet the challenges of jointly creating an open global economy, Norov said.

They would also consistently strengthen the transparent and rule-based multilateral trading system, and prevent the fragmentation of international trade relations and trade protectionism in all kinds of forms, he added.

Norov said the SCO member states support the creation of favorable conditions for trade and investment in order to gradually implement the free movement of goods, capital, services and technology.

"Today, in my opinion, we should focus our economic cooperation on the implementation of practical tasks, effectively use the potential of the Business Council of the SCO and the SCO Interbank Consortium, and intensify cooperation in energy, industry, transport and tourism," he said.

The viability and unifying force of the SCO lies in the adherence to the Shanghai Spirit, which features mutual trust, mutual benefit, equality, consultation, respect for diverse civilizations and pursuit of common development, Norov said.

The secretary general expressed the hope that the SCO in the future would continue the balanced development in four spheres, namely politics, security, economics and humanitarian issues.

The synergy of China's Belt and Road Initiative and the economic development strategies of the SCO member states will lead to the expansion of economic, financial, trade and infrastructure cooperation, Norov said.
"I believe that the legal framework agreed upon within the organization and the joint stance of the member states can play an important coordinating role in all aspects of cooperation," said Norov.

"SCO member states strongly condemn terrorism in any form and consider it necessary to promote the creation of a single global anti-terrorism front with the United Nations playing a central coordinating role," he added.

According to Norov, the SCO attaches great importance to the fight against terrorism, while young people should be prevented from getting involved in the activities of terrorist, separatist and extremist groups.

Norov recalled that the SCO Summit held in June 2018 in eastern China's Qingdao issued the Joint Appeal to Youth, in which the member states put forth the intention to organize comprehensive educational work as well as the spiritual and moral education of the younger generation.

Although the secretary general has only lived in China for two months, he has been using mobile payment platforms like Alipay a lot. China is keeping abreast of the times in the field of digital technology, according to Norov.

At the 17th meeting of the SCO Council of Heads of Government held in Dushanbe, Tajikistan, in October 2018, the 2019-2020 Plan of Practical Measures (Roadmap) for Cooperation among Research Institutions of the SCO Member States was adopted to promote scientific, technological and innovative cooperation.

It is fair to say that the SCO "is moving in the right direction," said Norov.