On 4 June 2020, SCO Secretary-General Vladimir Norov met with Zhao Baige, Chair of the Advisory Committee on International Research and Development under the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS), at the SCO Secretariat.
The meeting participants discussed ways to enhance cooperation within the China-SCO format based on the Demonstration Zone of Regional Trade and Economic Cooperation in Jiaozhou, Qingdao (Shandong Province, China).
Mr Norov emphasised that trade and economic cooperation, first of all, in transport and logistics, is currently one of the key areas of interaction within the SCO. He noted that the SCO member states have vast economic potential. The demonstration zone in Qingdao is very important as its objective is to facilitate the development of trade between the Organisation member states and deepening of mutual trust, and can become a universal platform for exchanging experience in e-commerce, tourism, culture and education.
As for practical recommendations, the SCO Secretary-General suggested considering the organisation of regular webinars, forums and conferences on logistics, transport, customs, phytosanitary control and others at the demonstration zone, in order to find the optimal cooperation parameters. He also noted the need to involve young people from the SCO member states to establish direct cultural and humanitarian contacts.
Vladimir Norov named several potential interaction areas in the demonstration zone as a new SCO platform in trade and economy. For instance, the establishment of bilateral ties between the demonstration zone and technology parks and business incubators in the SCO member states, construction of regional transport and logistics centres, strengthening cooperation in research and processing industries, in agriculture, as well as creation of training and additional training centres for SCO experts in logistics, phytosanitary regulation, e-commerce and technological innovations.
Ms Zhao Baige told Mr Norov about the activity of the Advisory Committee. In particular, she noted that it is an analytical centre focused on applied developments and is actively interacting with the people's government of Qingdao in the generation of projects to further improve the demonstration zone.
She expressed confidence that the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation has the necessary potential to become a centre that is able to play a key role in global economic processes.