China-SCO economic and trade cooperation yields promising results

BEIJING, Nov. 10 (Xinhua) — China and other member countries of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) have made significant achievements in economic and trade cooperation over the years.

Covering three fifths of the Eurasian continent, the eight member states of the SCO are home to nearly half of the world’s population and contribute about 20 percent to world GDP.

The following facts and figures show how China and other SCO countries forged ahead to achieve win-win economic cooperation:

— The trade volume between China and other SCO member states hit a record high of 258.8 billion U.S. dollars in 2019, according to the Ministry of Commerce.

— Although the COVID-19 pandemic dealt a heavy blow to the world economy this year, China saw its imports from other SCO member states maintain growth in the first three quarters, and the country continued to be the largest trading partner of Russia, Uzbekistan, India and Pakistan.

— China had invested nearly 85 billion U.S. dollars in other member states of the SCO, with the total value of projects contracted by the country reaching almost 280 billion U.S. dollars by the end of September.

— China provided 30 billion yuan (about 4.55 billion U.S. dollars) of special loans under the framework of the SCO Interbank Consortium, with the value of signed projects exceeding 24 billion yuan.

— The China-Eurasian Economic Cooperation Fund, dedicated to deepening economic cooperation in the SCO region, has invested in projects including the China-Central Asia Gas Pipeline and a thermal power station in Pakistan.

— Despite the impact of COVID-19, China sent out experts and workers by chartered planes to ensure the construction of a number of major projects such as the Shymkent oil refinery in Kazakhstan, and the parliament building and government office building in Tajikistan.

— In October 2019, China unveiled a general plan for the construction of the China-SCO local economic and trade cooperation demonstration zone in Qingdao, east China’s Shandong Province.

Last year, a multimodal transport center was established in the Qingdao demonstration zone and an SCO express rail service was launched. Despite the impact of COVID-19, the multimodal transport center handled 592,000 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEU) of cargo in the first 10 months of 2020, up 5 percent year on year. A financial service center has also been put into operation in the demonstration zone.

— Participants in a videoconference of economy and trade ministers of SCO members in October reached consensus on several issues including fighting the COVID-19 pandemic, supporting the multilateral trading system, promoting the development of small and medium-sized enterprises, and enhancing cooperation on intellectual property. 

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