CHINA / National

US$900m loans to SCO members for China exports
Updated: 2006-05-31 06:23

China is offering US$900 million worth of loans for other members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), Chinese President Hu Jintao said in Beijing yesterday.

Chinese Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing talks during a foreign ministers meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) in Shanghai, May 15, 2006. The organisation was setup to boost economic cooperation between China, Russia, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. [Reuters]
The loans were made in the form of preferential buyers credit for SCO member states who buy Chinese exports.

Established in 2001, the SCO now includes China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. In 2004 and 2005, the SCO accepted Mongolia, Iran, Pakistan and India as observers.

During a joint interview with media from the six member states, Hu said the money was pledged on behalf the Chinese government at the Tashkent Summit of SCO in 2004.

In 2005, at the Astana Summit, Hu said the Chinese government would offer more favorite conditions on these loans.

Hu said China and other SCO members had already decided on 127 joint projects and had set up seven specialist panels to study and coordinate cooperation in such fields as quality inspection, customs, electronic commerce, investment promotion, transportation, energy and telecommunications.

Hu said all the SCO members had signed a multilateral trade and cooperation agreement.

Generally speaking, Hu said, trade and economic cooperation within the SCO framework had a huge potential and bright prospect.

He said under the joint effort of all SCO members, trade and economic cooperation will yield substantial results and bring benefits to the people of all member countries.

Looking ahead, Hu said that the SCO summit on June 15 in Shanghai is expected to be a complete success.

"During the summit, the heads of the SCO member states will have an in-depth exchange of views on mutually beneficial cooperation and sign important documents," Hu said.

The heads of state of the six SCO member countries will attend the summit meeting, along with observers and representatives from countries and international organizations that have established cooperative relations with the SCO.

The summit will review the developments of the organization since it was established five years ago, analyze international and regional situations, study the organization's future development and outline cooperation plans, said Hu.

He attributed the rapid growth of the SCO to the "Shanghai Spirit" of mutual trust and benefit, equality, consultation, respect for cultural diversity and the desire for common development.

Sino-Russia ties reach 'unprecedented' high: Hu

Hu Jintao said China-Russia relations have reached an "unprecedented" high and are embedded with an "obvious strategic ingredient".

"Russia is one of China's most important strategic and cooperative partners", Hu said in a joint interview with the media representatives from the six member states of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO).

He cited the fact that the bilateral trade had grown rapidly for seven consecutive years and cooperation in fields such as energy and investment had achieved remarkable growth,

"The two nations also maintained effective consultation and cooperation on international and regional issues", he said.

Hu recalled Russian president Putin's successful visit to China in March, noting that the two sides had launched a series of events marking a "national year" on each other's territory.

"China is committed to further boosting mutual political trust and strategic coordination with Russia to push forward the bilateral relations", Hu said.

This year was the 10th anniversary of the establishment of the China-Russia strategic partnership of cooperation and next year would be the 15th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations with the other SCO members: Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.

This reflected an increasingly mature and close relationship between China and SCO countries that had endured the international transitions, said Hu.

Heads of state of the six SCO countries will attend a summit meeting on June 15 in Shanghai.

Established in 2001, the SCO comprises China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. The organization has official links with many international organizations, including the United Nations and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.


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