Union Minister of State for Commerce and Industry Anupriya Patel attended the 22nd meeting of the ministers of foreign economic and foreign trade activities (Trade Ministers) of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) in virtual mode on September 27, 2023.
The meeting was held in a hybrid mode by the current Chair of the SCO, Kyrgyzstan, at its capital city of Bishkek.
The theme of the meeting was "The prospects and measures to deepen trade and economic cooperation among SCO Member States".
Speaking in the meeting, she welcomed Iran as the new member of SCO. She said that "SCO region accounts for 40% of the global population and 30% of the world's economy. There is significant potential for increasing trade within the SCO region."
She also mentioned India's successful completion of its term as the Chair of the head of States of SCO in July 2023, wherein it created five new pillars and focus areas of cooperation, namely, Startups and Innovation, Traditional Medicine, Digital Inclusion, Youth Empowerment and Shared Buddhist Heritage.
Ms Patel welcomed the naming of Varanasi as the 'Cultural and Tourism' capital of SCO for 2022-23.
Further, she extended a warm invitation to the SCO member states to participate in the 1st meeting of the Expert Working Group on Traditional Medicine, scheduled to be held at the Global Centre for Traditional Medicine in Jamnagar, Gujarat, in November 2023, a facility established by the World Health Organization.
The Shanghai Cooperation Organization was set up on June 15, 2001 by Kazakhstan, China, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. It replaced the Shanghai Five organisation.
Decision Making Body in SCO
The supreme decision-making body of the SCO is the Council of Heads of States (CHS). It meets once a year and decides upon all the important issues of the Organization.
The Council of Heads of Government (Prime Ministers) (CHG) meets once a year to discuss the strategy of multilateral cooperation and priority areas within the Organization, determine fundamental and topical issues in economic and other spheres, and approve the budget of the SCO.
Headquarters: Beijing, China
Members of SCO
Permanent Members of SCO (9 Countries )
Kazakhstan, China, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, India(Joined in 2017), Pakistan (Joined in 2017) and Iran (Joined in 2023).
Observer Members (3)
Afghanistan, Belarus and Mongolia.
Current Chairman of SCO: Kyrgyzstan.