India offers to create special working group on start-ups at SCO forum

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on November 30, 2020 Published on November 30, 2020

SCO members agree to work towards improving investment and business climate, develop e-commerce

India has focused on creating three new pillars of cooperation - startups and innovation, science and technology and traditional medicine - during its chairmanship of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Council of Heads of Government in 2020, a senior official of the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said.

“India has offered to create and chair a new Special Working Group on startups and innovation and to set up a new Expert Working Group on Cooperation in traditional medicine,” said MEA secretary (West) Vikas Swarup following the 19th Summit of SCO Council of Heads of Government, on Monday, chaired by Vice President Venkaiah Naidu.

This is the first time that a Summit-level meeting was held under India’s chairmanship, since it gained full-membership of the organization in 2017. India assumed the chairmanship of the SCO Council of Heads of Government on November 2 2019 as per rotation and completed its year-long tenure on November 30 2020 with the Summit-level meeting. The eight member states of the SCO include China, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Pakistan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.

Deepening cooperation

“The Heads of delegations spoke in favor of further deepening cooperation between the SCO Member States in creating favorable conditions for expanding mutual investments by improving the investment and business climate, as well as in developing e-commerce and spoke in favor of joint development of targeted interaction plans. They consider it important to expand cooperation in the field of trade in services and prepare a corresponding document,” according to the joint communiqué issued after the meeting.

The Heads of delegations also approved the results of the nineteenth meeting of the Meeting of Ministers of the SCO Member States responsible for Foreign Economic and Foreign Trade activities, chaired by India (October 28, 2020 via video conference), including the agreements reached on overcoming the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, supporting multilateral trade systems, cooperation in the field of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises, development of remote and rural areas, intellectual property.

“They consider it important to ensure the implementation of the Action Plan approved at the SCO meeting for the implementation of the Program of Multilateral Trade and Economic Cooperation of the SCO Member States, adopted on November 2, 2019 in Tashkent, in the interests of ensuring sustainable and stable development in the SCO region on the basis of mutual benefit and equality,” it said.

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Published on November 30, 2020
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