Announcement following the results of Shanghai Cooperation Organization Member States’ Heads of Regions Forum October 29, 2020
On October 29, 2020, the I Shanghai Cooperation Organization Member States’ Heads of Regions Forum was held via videoconference. The event chaired by the governor of the Chelyabinsk region A.L. Teksler was attended by the heads of the regions of India, Kazakhstan, China, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan, and representatives of involved governmental agencies of the economic bloc of these countries.
Initiated by the Russian Federation he forum is expected to impart a system-wide character and confer new qualitative dynamics to interregional cooperation of the SCO member states based on the principles of voluntariness and openness.
The participants discussed a set of issues associated with arranging practical efforts to solve the problems set out in the Forum agenda. They stressed the intention to make active joint efforts aimed at the effective implementation of the Program for the Development of Interregional Cooperation approved by the decision of the Council of Heads of the SCO Member States dated June 14, 2019. Preparing proposals for specific measures to promote cooperation in industry and agriculture, trade and investments, science and innovations, education and culture, and other areas, and forming initiative working groups in this regard have been unanimously recognized as a top priority task. Particular attention has been paid to the possibility of expanding cooperation between the regions of the SCO member states and creating favorable environment for the development of comprehensive interregional cooperation under the conditions of the COVID-19 pandemic.
At the event, the Governor of the Chelyabinsk Region A.L. Teksler noted:
We are actively cooperating with the regions of foreign states. We hope that the work within the Forum of Heads of Regions will contribute to expanding the spectrum of foreign partners for our enterprises, which will ultimately increase the commodity turnover. We are also ready to develop joint humanitarian projects, air communication, and tourism. The Chelyabinsk region has unique natural and climatic conditions and an infrastructure required for the development of medical, skiing, ecological, and industrial tourism. We are open for further cooperation and new interaction formats.
In his greetings read-out to the Forum participants, the Minister of Economic Development of the Russian Federation M.G. Reshetnikov emphasizes that interregional cooperation “creates new opportunities for business, education, science, and culture. Partnership in these areas has always been a part of the SCO's work, and in the face of closing borders, it has become a clear priority. Now, more than ever, it is important not to lose ties and cooperative chains between the regions, therefore, Russia came up with the initiative to arrange a Forum. The projects that have already been started should be continued, and new ones launched."
The participants welcomed the proposals of the Governor of the Chelyabinsk Region to arrange a face-to-face meeting of the heads of regions and a congress of representatives of the business communities of the SCO countries in Chelyabinsk in the spring of 2021, subject to the stabilization of the sanitary and epidemiological situation, and hold an expert meeting on the Forum development in December 2020. The Chelyabinsk region will chair the Forum in 2020-2022.