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China calls for SCO's joint response to global economic downturn
Updated: 2009-10-15 07:35

BEIJING: China on Wednesday proposed closer cooperation among members of a regional security group to tackle the world economic recession.

"Confronted with the global financial crisis and aiming at a steady economic growth, member states of Shanghai Cooperation Organization(SCO) should work together and seek mutual benefit," Chinese Vice Premier Li Keqiang told a SCO business forum in Beijing.

The SCO was founded in 2001 to enhance security cooperation among its six member states, namely, China, Russia, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan. Mongolia, India, Iran and Pakistan are observers to the regional group.

Stressing the world economy was undergoing complicated and profound changes, Li said the developing nations are faced with new situation and new opportunities.

"Connecting Europe and Asia, SCO member states have abundant resources and enjoy important geographic positions," Li told a gathering of around 500 officials, business executives and bankers from SCO member states, including Kyrgyz Prime Minister Igor Chudinov.

"Despite the world financial crisis, the trade volume between China and some SCO member states has been growing over the past year," Li said.

"The crisis didn't shake up the foundation for SCO states' cooperation. Instead, it offered more opportunities for them to work together," Li said, citing the fact that SCO members are complementary in economies and have an increasingly-connected market.

Although the total population and territories of SCO member states amounted to a quarter and one fifth of the world's total, their overall economic scale and trade volume made up only the world's 11 percent or 10 percent respectively, Li said.

"Thus, there is a huge potential for SCO member states to expand economic and technology cooperation," Li said.
He called for SCO member states to carry out the joint actions to deal with the global slump and accelerate the process of trade and investment liberalization.

He proposed promoting the projects that involved and benefited multiple parties, building infrastructure networks of transportation, communications and energy.

It was necessary to step up cooperation in modern agriculture, emerging industries, high-tech and social welfare so as to benefit the people, Li said.

He vowed that China will unswervingly pursue the path of peaceful development, take a more active part in SCO affairs, fully participate in regional economic and regional cooperation in a bid to work for the welfare of 1.5 billion people within the SCO member states.

The business forum was an important event under the framework of the eighth SCO prime ministers' meeting, which took place on Wednesday.