On 7 July 2020, the Russian Ministry of Industry and Trade held a roundtable, via video conference, on export strategy with SCO countries as part of Russia's SCO Presidency. Over 70 experts and representatives of banking and business circles of SCO member states took part in the event.
SCO Deputy Secretary-General Sherali Jonon delivered a welcome address to the participants. He pointed out the importance of developing a modern digital economy and cross-border electronic trading as one of the key factors of further economic development and making products from SCO countries more competitive on the global stage amid the pandemic.
"According to expert forecasts, by early 2021, $2 trillion worth of goods will be sold in the world through internet trading, which is 6 percent more than in 2017-2018. The future belongs to online trading channels. This economic segment will grow, and new technologies and instruments will be implemented.
In the medium term, SCO countries plan to transform the national economies by way of drawing up regulations in trade and investment, promoting the services industry and electronic trading, and streamlining trade procedures within the SCO.
In the longer term up to 2035, the target is to boost the competitiveness and ensure the digital conversion of the national economies in SCO countries by implementing digital technologies and creating favourable conditions for gradually carrying out the free movement of goods, capital assets, services and technologies," Jonon said.
The roundtable participants considered a range of issues in developing trade and economic cooperation and joint electronic trading platforms within the SCO.
They also exchanged opinions on expanding opportunities for business in healthcare and agriculture, and developing inter-regional cooperation. The participants discussed the advantages of B2B e-commerce as a current driver of economic growth in SCO countries.
Experts provided insight into government support measures for export-oriented businesses in SCO member states and prospects for developing a dialogue on technical regulation and standardisation between SCO countries.