Trade Resources Policy & Opinion Gao Hucheng Attends News Conference on the 14th SCO Trade Ministers’ Meeting

Gao Hucheng Attends News Conference on the 14th SCO Trade Ministers’ Meeting

The 14th SCO Economic and Trade Ministers’ Meeting concluded in Xi’an on September 16. The chairman of the meeting, the head of Chinese delegation, and the Chinese Commerce Minister Gao Hucheng attended the news conference and answered questions from the media.

Gao Hucheng said in the interview that all sides agreed on 9 specific measures to implement the important fruits of jointly building the Belt and Road achieved at the SCO Ufa Summit in July:

1.To launch and formulate the five-year development planning for regional economic cooperation. The meeting agreed to start the Measure List ofPromoting Project Cooperation in 2017-2021, involving over one hundred projects in more than ten areas, with a total value of nearly US$ 100 billion.

2.Deeply promote the trade facilitation. The meeting approved to set up a working group on trade facilitation, marking a new stage of institutionalization arrangement for trade facilitation.

3.Build platform to expand trade. The first SCO Commodity Exhibition will be held in the city of Xi’an on the sidelines of the 6th Euro-Asia Economic Forum one week later. The forum will be attended by 230 enterprises from 13 SCO member countries, observer countries and dialogue partners.

4.Carry out cross-border e-commerce cooperation. All sides agreed to discuss and set up the “SCO e-commerce platform.”
5.Strengthen investment cooperation. The Chinese side will push enterprises to conduct cluster investment in textile, home appliance, chemical industry, metallurgy, logistics, and agricultural areas, and to deepen the investment and industrial cooperation with all sides.
6.Enhance connectivity cooperation. All sides agreed to quickly implement the ongoing cooperation projects and conduct regional logistics hub and port construction in line with the goal of “striving to build 4,000km railway, 10,000km highway, and promoting the basically forming of a landscape of regional connectivity within few years” as is put forth by President Xi Jinping.

7.Strengthen capital support. All sides agreed to make full use of the credit capital provided by the Chinese side, the Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank, the Silk Road fund and Euro-Asia economic cooperation fund to carry out investment and cooperation. Besides, all sides also agreed to carry out currency exchange and settlement in local currency to resist the financial risks.
8.Deepen customs cooperation. All sides agreed to have information exchange in commodity valuation and price regulation, strengthen cooperation in customs law enforcement, and create sound environment for trade development.
9.Assimilate observer countries and dialogue partners to engage in regional cooperation.
Gao Hucheng said the 1st SCO Economic and Trade Ministers’ Meeting was held in Shanghai in May 2002, officially launching the progress of regional economic cooperation. Over 13 years’ development, as the founder, promoter and participant of the SCO, the Chinese government has always joined hands with other SCO members to actively implement the achievements made at the SCO Summits and SCO Premiers’ Meeting, establish goals for regional economic cooperation and development, and make cooperative mechanism. Remarkable progress has been made in trade, investment and connectivity, constantly creating new vigor and positive energy for the regional stability and development.
Gao Hucheng said, at present, the recovery of world’s economy is difficult and the downward economic pressure troubles all countries. Against this background, the Chinese side would like to join efforts with SCO members to overcome difficulties and maintain close cooperation under the principles of “negotiating, co-building and sharing” in order to promote the local and regional economic cooperation and development.
Deputy Director-General of SCO said that at the moment, all sides are promoting economic structure adjustment and encouraging innovation and economic diversification, which are highly complementary to each other in economic structure. It’s in line with the needs of regional stability and development to further regional cooperation. All sides support the Belt and Road initiative and would like to implement the consensus reached by country leaders and positively engage in the Belt and Road construction.
The Deputy Secretary-General also pointed out that as the host country, China proposed a “Chinese plan” under the principles of “negotiating, co-building and sharing” at the meeting, winning the positive response from all sides. The “Chinese initiative” aiming to promote regional economic cooperation indicates direction for all sides to cope with downward pressure and to make structure adjustment. All sides agree that this meeting is fruitful and it fully prepares the holding of the SCO Premiers’ Meeting at the end of the year.
Vice head of the Chinese delegation and Chinese Vice Commerce Minister Qian Keming also attended the news conference and took questions from the media.

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