Among the key topics of discussion at the online meeting of the Council of Heads of Government (Prime Ministers) of the SCO member states held on November 30 was trade and economic cooperation and transport links, taking into account the consequences caused by the global pandemic.
The meeting participants spoke for the need to expand cooperation aimed at achieving an open, inclusive, fair and multilateral trading system based on the principles and rules of the World Trade Organization (WTO), which is also designed to promote the development of an open world economy. The meeting participants assessed the current level of cooperation and exchanged proposals on this topic.
Deputy Chairman of the Cabinet of Ministers, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan Rashid Meredov also spoke at the meeting. He noted the importance of using the potential of the SCO in the development of trade and economic ties and drew a parallel between the constructive tasks set by Turkmenistan and the SCO.
In particular, the initiatives of Turkmenistan in the field of transport focused on connecting main flows along the South-North and East-West lines were highlighted, which has good prospects for the SCO countries, and creates additional opportunities for diversifying Eurasian trade and economic relations and stimulating inter-regional partnership.
In this context, a proposal was made to develop joint projects, including through the use of a diversified port infrastructure created on the coast of Turkmenistan and the capabilities of the Turkmen merchant fleet.
It was noted that the Turkmen side is open for a multifaceted dialogue in this and other areas. The possibility of expanding cooperation in the field of energy was expressed, in particular, by combining the potentials of Turkmenistan and the SCO in the implementation of large infrastructure projects, diversification of energy flows in the Eurasian space. In this regard, the strategic importance of the construction of the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India gas pipeline, which, among other things, is designed to have a beneficial effect on strengthening regional stability, restoring the Afghan economy, and its effective integration into continental and world economic ties, was noted. In this context, the importance of laying power lines and fiber-optic communications along the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan route was also noted.
It was emphasized that Turkmenistan is ready to discuss with the SCO the development of mutually acceptable projects, including in the field of industry, transport, high technologies and others.
/// MFA Turkmenistan, 30 November 2020