On 21 May 2020, the SCO Secretariat hosted SCO Secretary-General Vladimir Norov's meeting with a delegation from the Alibaba Group led by Alibaba Vice President Ma Li, who also heads the AliHealth programme.
Mr Norov talked to the Alibaba delegation about how the SCO was established and developed and what its objectives are now. He focused on promoting information and communications technologies, the digital economy, e-commerce, documents adopted in this sphere and specialised working groups within the organisation. It was explained that the SCO Cooperation Concept in Digitalisation and Information and Communications Technologies was adopted at the Bishkek Summit in 2019. In addition, the SCO Programme of Multilateral Trade and Economic Cooperation until 2035 was adopted at the Tashkent SCO Heads of Government Council Meeting in November 2019.
The SCO Secretary-General noted that cooperation in areas such as digital and telecommunications infrastructure, information security, e-government, smart cities, big data processing technologies, artificial intelligence, blockchain, intellectual management systems, new production technologies, robotics and quantum computing were listed among the priorities of the SCO member states under these documents.
"The coronavirus pandemic changed many areas of people's life, in particular trade, and has thus sped up the digitalisation processes. In many countries, online companies that sell essential goods and services have begun to play a leading role in retail. Internationally recognised Alibaba Group is a successful company in this respect," Vladimir Norov noted.
He thanked the company's representatives for organising an education seminar on countering the spread of the novel coronavirus infection held via videoconference with leading Chinese doctors and scientists. Those in the discussion exchanged expertise and asked each other questions.
Ms Ma Li spoke about AliHealth's activities and the measures taken to promote digitalisation in medicine. She noted that the company was willing to cooperate with the SCO countries. "Today, many areas are going online. This webinar shows that the SCO member states have enormous potential in this area and are ready to use and develop it in practice. We will be glad to discuss the SCO Secretariat's proposals and help with implementation," she noted.