On 22 March the SCO Secretariat hosted SCO Secretary-General Vladimir Norov's meeting with the Alibaba group delegation led by Alibaba Vice President and the Secretary General of the Electronic World Trade Platform (eWTP) headquartered in Hangzhou, James Song.
At the beginning of the meeting, the SCO Secretary-General provided an overview of the SCO's history, the stages of its development and current activities, as well as the measures taken by the SCO member states during the acute period of the pandemic.
"Despite the challenging sanitary and epidemic situation around the world, the SCO has continued its work," Mr Norov said. "We managed to successfully carry out the SCO's main activities."
Next, the Secretary-General discussed ways to promote information and communications technology, the digital economy and e-commerce. He mentioned the adopted documents and the corresponding SCO working groups.
"A number of important intergovernmental documents have been adopted by the SCO that determine relations between the SCO member states in the information and communications, and digitalisation spheres, as well as matters of digital economy, including e-commerce," the SCO Secretary-General said.
Vladimir Norov stressed that developing the digital economy helped the government of the People's Republic of China overcome poverty and create new jobs for its population. Thanks to it, many young people and women (55 percent) found employment and continue working. This experience is of interest to other states, including the SCO member states.
The SCO Secretary-General thanked Alibaba Group for organising an online training seminar on countering the spread of the coronavirus infection with the participation of China's leading doctors of medicine and researchers, as well as webinars titled, Digital Economy and E-Commerce: Challenges and Opportunities in the SCO Region, and Digital Action for Entrepreneurs in the Age of Covid-19: Learnings from Alibaba. He also expressed gratitude to the Alibaba Group for the timely provision of humanitarian aid to the SCO member states.
In turn, James Song covered the company's activities and provided detailed information about the eWTP. According to Song, the eWTP is a multi-stakeholder private initiative designed to promote public-private cooperation in order to develop e-commerce rules and to create more effective and efficient policies and business environment for cross-border e-commerce in both B2B and B2C.
Song said nine eWTP hubs are available worldwide, of which five are in China with the remaining four in Belgium, Malaysia, Rwanda and Ethiopia.
"The eWTP is an open, transparent and non-profit entity. We are in touch with corresponding international organisations, governments and stakeholders who seek to promote e-commerce and to assess and uphold the terms and develop rules for expanding cross-border e-commerce, including B2B and B2C," James Song said.
A presentation followed covering the company's capabilities, as well as their vision for further cooperation with the SCO Secretariat. As noted, the Alibaba Group plans to be involved in training e-commerce personnel for the SCO member states.
In addition, James Song announced the company's commitment to establish cooperation with the SCO countries through the China-SCO Local Economic and Trade Cooperation Demonstration Zone headquartered in Qingdao. He was also supportive of the SCO Secretary-General's proposal to build logistics centres in order to expand e-commerce cooperation with the SCO member states, and to create one such centre in the city of Kashgar. He told the SCO Secretary-General that the company will set up a meeting with the Kashgar authorities soon in order to discuss this plan and outline steps to implement it.
An agreement was reached to hold a presentation of the eWTP for the SCO countries.
The meeting took place in a constructive and friendly atmosphere.