The 21st meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) was held

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The 21st meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) was held

Recently, China has organized the 21st meeting of the Council of Heads of Government of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) in a virtual form.

The 21st meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) was held

Key findings of the meeting

  • India has not ratified the joint communique supporting China’s ‘Belt and Road’ initiative.
  • India supported more trade through Iran’s Chabahar port and the International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC).
  • INSTC is a multi-modal transport corridor. Its length is 7,200 km. This corridor connects Russia and India through Central Asia and Iran by road, rail and sea routes.

Trade and connectivity in SCO Group

  • The total trade value of its member countries increased from $667 billion in 2001 to $6 trillion in the year 2020.
  • The total trade of India with the SCO members is only $141 billion.
  • Most of India’s trade among SCO countries this year is with China ($100 billion).
  • Trade with Central Asia is less than $2 billion.

Challenges for India

  • Due to lack of direct access, there is a lack of large scale trade between India and Central Asian countries. The lack of connectivity has hindered the development of energy ties between the hydrocarbon-rich region and India.
  • As trading partners, China and Russia are growing closer. Both these countries want to increase bilateral trade to $ 250 billion by the year 2024.
  • The SCO supports the Belt and Road Initiative

SCO:

  • It was founded in the year 2001 in Shanghai. It is an intergovernmental political, economic and military organization.
  • Its headquarter is in Beijing.
  • It is an eight-member multilateral organization that arose out of the Shanghai Five (China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia and Tajikistan) grouping of 1996.
  • Later on, Uzwekistan, India and Pakistan also became members of the SCO.
  • Iran’s participation was agreed at the SCO summit held in Dushanbe (2021). Belarus has also started the process of obtaining its membership.
  • The meeting of the Heads of Government of the SCO is held annually. It focuses on the business and economic agenda of the organization. It also approves the annual budget of the SCO.
  • India has taken over as the President of the SCO. India will host the meeting of leaders of SCO countries in the year 2023.

Source – The Hindu

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