On 26-27 September 2019, the fifth Small and Medium-Sized Business Forum of the SCO and BRICS Regions took place in Ufa, Russia. It was attended by 2,800 participants representing 31 countries and 52 Russian regions. The SCO Secretariat was represented by Deputy Secretary-General Vladimir Potapenko.
On 26 September, the plenary session, "Interregional cooperation as a factor in the development of entrepreneurship of the SCO and BRICS regions," was held at the Toratau Congress Hall. At the beginning of the event, the participants listened to SCO Secretary-General Vladimir Norov's welcoming remarks, which noted that over a period of five years the forum had become an effective platform for the development of interregional cooperation, experience exchange, support of small and medium-sized businesses, and expansion of contacts and ties between business communities from the SCO and BRICS regions.
Russia's Special Presidential Envoy to the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Bakhtier Khakimov stressed in his welcoming speech that active discussions were held at the forum, which should result in something interesting and useful in the future.
The delegates discussed several key topics at the sections and roundtables, including international cooperation, protection of businesses in the SCO and BRICS and development of online trade, tourism, social entrepreneurship and investment cooperation between the SCO and BRICS regions.
SCO Deputy Secretary-General Vladimir Potapenko attended four sections dedicated to UNESCO programmes for conservation of natural, cultural and geological sites, tourism as a powerful factor in the accelerated development of integration processes (where The Eight Wonders of the SCO short film was shown), youth entrepreneurship and logistic capabilities in Eurasia.
Those at the forum were welcomed by Head of the Republic of Bashkortostan Radiy Khabirov. In addition to this, several agreements on the development of economic cooperation, protection of business rights, youth policy and culture were inked during the forum in Ufa.
On 27 September, the closing session was held, where Acting Deputy Prime Minister of Bashkortostan Andrei Nazarov made several suggestions for the draft resolution of the fifth Small and Medium-Sized Business Forum of the SCO and BRICS Regions.
"Several important decisions were made at the forum," he noted. For example, the establishment of the forum's permanent directorate in Ufa is planned in order to work systematically during the entire year. In addition to this, the proposal to create an international club for SCO and BRICS entrepreneurs was also included in the draft resolution.