Premiers of SCO vow to enhance cooperation

By Su Qiang (China Daily)
Updated: 2007-11-03 08:31

Tashkent - Prime ministers of Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) member states met on Friday in the capital of Uzbekistan to discuss ways to further enhance their partnership.

Prime ministers of the Member States of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) sign in Tashkent Friday a joint communique, vowing to strengthen cooperation in customs, agriculture, culture and education. [Xinhua]

The SCO has become a platform for exchanges, greatly promoting peace, security, stability and development in the region, Premier Wen Jiabao told a joint press conference following the Sixth Meeting of Prime Ministers of Member States of the SCO.

The signing of a customs cooperation treaty on Friday is a great step forward in the development of the SCO and it will help standardize and facilitate trade between member states, Wen said.

He also suggested that SCO members improve regional cooperation in four fields - speeding up the implementation of treaties already signed, establishing a legal protection mechanism, expanding collaboration in sectors such as road construction, energy, high-tech and agriculture, and providing financial support to bilateral or multilateral projects.

Wen said the major task of the meeting was to take concrete steps to implement the Treaty on Long-term Good Neighborliness, Friendship and Cooperation, a consensus reached at the SCO summit held in the Kyrgyz capital of Bishkek this August.

"The signing of the treaty has shown that political mutual trust among member states has entered a new phase," Wen said.

The premier said he hopes that member states will start drafting investment environment reports so as to facilitate cooperation, especially between small- and medium-sized enterprises in the region.

Wen's visit to Uzbekistan is the first foreign trip by a Chinese leader since the conclusion of the 17th National Congress of the Communist Party of China on October 21.

Later on Friday, Wen met Uzbek President Islam Karimov.

During his five-day tour, Wen will also visit Turkmenistan, Belarus and Russia.

In Moscow, he will attend the 12th regular meeting between the prime ministers of China and Russia and the closing ceremony of the Year of China in Russia.

Founded in Shanghai in 2001, the SCO groups China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, with Mongolia, Pakistan, Iran and India holding observer status.

In August, the six members conducted their biggest-ever anti-terrorism exercises, "Peace Mission 2007", in Russia.

Top World News  
Today's Top News  
Most Commented/Read Stories in 48 Hours