On 18 March 2021, the SCO Secretariat was the venue for a meeting between SCO Secretary-General Vladimir Norov and Mr Liu Jianjun, Head of the Administrative Committee (Management Board) of the China-SCO Local Economic and Trade Cooperation Demonstration Zone in Qingdao, Shandong Province.
The SCO Secretary-General welcomed the delegation from the China-SCO Local Economic and Trade Cooperation Demonstration Zone and noted that the SCO Secretariat had managed to launch consistent cooperation with Shandong Province and Qingdao throughout 2020 for implementing the decisions of the SCO Summit and of the SCO Heads of Government Council (HGC) Meeting. In this context, it was gratifying that the China-SCO Economic and Trade Cooperation Demonstration Zone presentation took place on 18 September 2020 at the SCO Secretariat.
Mr Norov also noted that many countries from the SCO family had already established direct contact with Qingdao and the China-SCO demonstration zone, and that they were consistently expanding business and cultural ties.
The SCO Secretary-General drew the Qingdao delegation's attention to the topicality of building and developing multi-modal logistic centres on trans-border territories and along SCO member country transport routes while using the China-SCO Economic and Trade Cooperation Demonstration Zone as an example and with its assistance. These transport routes link various transport systems. This includes locations like Kashi, Urumqi and Chungking, and requires the upgrading of networks and transport facilities to more quickly harmonise transport standards.
According to Mr Norov, the establishment of green corridors and the joint creation of special algorithms for freight transit in the form of unimpeded export-import traffic via the SCO member states' checkpoints and the introduction of the one-stop-shop approach can serve as important mechanisms during this process.
During the meeting, the SCO Secretary-General noted the need for using the potential of the China-SCO Economic and Trade Cooperation Demonstration Zone as a facility for training young specialists from the SCO member states and for improving their professionalism. This mostly concerns such fields as logistics, transportation, phyto-sanitary standards, e-commerce, technological innovation, customs clearance, tourism, etc. Mr Norov suggested studying the possibility of holding a roundtable discussion on transport and logistics matters for the SCO member states at the China-SCO Demonstration Zone before the year is out.
The SCO Secretary-General expressed the SCO Secretariat's readiness to expand broad cooperation with the Demonstration Zone to jointly promote economic and financial cooperation to increase the prosperity of the SCO member states and to improve the well-being of their peoples.
In turn, Mr Liu Jianjun, Head of the Administrative Committee (Management Board) of the Demonstration Zone, thanked SCO Secretary-General Vladimir Norov for the SCO Secretariat's efforts at supporting and developing the Demonstration Zone.
Mr Norov and Mr Liu Jianjun noted the topicality of holding joint events, including forums, seminars, presentations, training courses, etc., that create additional favourable opportunities for developing the economies of SCO countries.
Mr Liu Jianjun noted the great significance and value of the SCO Secretariat's practical proposals to create more favourable conditions for strengthening and expanding inter-regional and co-production ties between the SCO member states, as this improves their investment climate.
The parties also discussed subsequent steps to strengthen cooperation between Qingdao and the SCO countries, as well as preparations for the International Investment and Trade Expo of SCO Countries, scheduled for late April next month.
Mr Liu Jianjun also expressed interest in helping to organise events marking the SCO's 20th anniversary in Qingdao.
The parties agreed to maintain contact.
On 10 June 2018, PRC President Xi Jinping addressed participants in the 18th SCO Heads of Government Council (HGC) Meeting and said the Government of China supported construction of the China-SCO Local Economic and Trade Cooperation Demonstration Zone in Qingdao.