March 10, 2010
Shanghai Cooperation Organization: Prospects of Economic Development
The important direction in the activity of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) is cooperation in developing the trade, economic and investment spheres, and also the transport and communication potential of the region. Measures on developing cooperation in these spheres are reflected in the Action Plan on execution of the Program of multilateral trade and economic cooperation within the SCO. Approved by the Council of Heads of Governments of the SCO member states on October, 30 2008, this document includes 85 projects and actions. In particular, the Action Plan envisages implementation of projects in such basic directions, as trade and investments, finance and taxes, wildlife management and preservation of the environment, customs procedures, transport, science and new technologies, agriculture, information and telecommunication technologies. The Plan also contains proposals in the area of applying the technical regulations, standards and procedures in compliance assessment. Legal foundations and organizational mechanisms for expansion of economic cooperation are generated within the Organization. This is evidenced by 33 major agreements on cooperation in the sphere of economy and the investments signed up to date. The basic bodies of the SCO in this direction are the Council of Heads of Governments, the Meeting of ministers responsible for foreign economic and trade activity, Business council, the Interbank Association of the SCO. The work on implementing the SCO’s resolutions in the economic sphere is carried out within the framework of special and expert working groups functioning in various directions. As a whole, there are 20 bodies within the SCO, whose activities are related to issues of economic cooperation. Uzbekistan supports the more active use and engagement of resources and markets of the SCO observer countries in mutually beneficial cooperation, which will promote the gradual and sustainable social and economic progress, handling the unemployment issues, increase in living standards of populations in all member states. In these respect, Uzbekistan takes an active part in further development of economic cooperation within the SCO. It is worthy to note that today the volume of commodity turnover of the Republic of Uzbekistan accounts for 44 % among the SCO member states. According to experts, one of the most important factors fro further development of economic cooperation within the SCO is observance of agreements regulating rules and principles of export-import transactions. As a whole, the equal and mutually beneficial partnership within the SCO in various directions of economic cooperation should further develop on ascending that will confirm in practice the expectations related to the Organization’s role as a key factor in the system of strengthening economic security and stability, harmonization of integration processes in the region. In order to efficiently counter the global financial and economic crisis it is of a vital task to increase the steadiness of the SCO member states in the face of arising threats and risks, and also strengthen the economic component of the Organization’s activity. On October 14, 2009, the Council of Heads of Governments of the SCO member states adopted a Joint initiative on intensifying the multilateral economic cooperation to overcome the consequences of the global financial and economic crisis and maintain the further development of the economics of the SCO member states. Investment cooperation within the SCO is mainly carried out through bilateral agreements. As of Uzbekistan, there are 1273 enterprises with participation of investors from the SCO member countries, including 246 enterprises with 100% of foreign capital. Representations of 214 firms and companies from the SCO member states are registered with the Ministry of Foreign Economic Relations of Uzbekistan. At the same time, there are 519 enterprises set up with assistance of residents from Uzbekistan in the SCO member states. Creation of favorable conditions for trade and investments, organization of training and education of specialists on trade-economic and investment cooperation, submitting the regular reports on changes in legislation and legal framework in the field of investments will play an important role in furthering the investment interaction. Development of transport communications is another important priority of the SCO. With an aim of accelerating the implementation of projects in the sphere of transport the SCO has decided to select 2 pilot projects: - simultaneous construction of motor roads “Volgograd-Astrakhan-Atyrau-Baineu-Kungard” and “Aktau-Baineu-Kungard” within the international transport corridor (ITC) E-40 with construction of a bridge over the Kigach river (The republic of Uzbekistan is the coordinator of the project); - development of a transport route “Osh-Sarygash-Irkeshtam-Kashgar” with construction of a transshipment terminal in Kashgar to facilitate multimodal transportation. (The People’s Republic of China is the coordinator of the project). It is necessary to complete the reconstruction of the motor road within the international transport corridor E-40. It is also important to accelerate the implementation of the project on developing the transport route “Osh-Sarygash-Irkeshtam-Kashgar”. Uzbekistan practically fulfilled all its obligations on reconstruction of the ITC E-40 on its territory. Beside, the newly created Navoi Free Industrial and Economic Zone is located in the heart of the ITC E-40 and has great importance as a catalyst for economic growth of not only Uzbekistan, but also the entire region. Owing to creation of the Navoi Free Industrial and Economic Zone numerous enterprises will have an access to a fisrts-class transport nodal point and the opportunity to become suppliers and consumers of produce from FIEZ The transshipment terminal of the Zone will facilitate the multimodal transportations. An interesting aspect of the Navoi Free Industrial and Economic Zone is that it will be created and developed simultaneously in two directions: in the area of freight transport (logistics) and production, which will supplement and strengthen each other. Exclusively favorable opportunities for both directions of activities are in place in Navoi province. The transport nodal point in the Navoi Free Industrial and Economic Zone will take on significance for all SCO countries as new infrastructure and transport projects in Central Asia will be implemented. In turn, the SCO can make its contribution to its development. Special attention is paid to creation and strengthening of the legislative basis of cooperation in the area of transportation. In particular, at present, experts of the SCO have completed the work on a Draft of an Agreement on creating favorable conditions for motor transportation in the SCO countries. One of the important directions of cooperation in the area of transport and communications is development of railroad systems. In this context, it is necessary to note that negotiations on construction of a railroad connecting China, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan are underway. This transport corridor can become another communication link in Central Asia, which will connect Russia and Eastern Europe with China and South and Eastern Asia.


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