Tribune News Service
New Delhi, November 27
Vice President Venkaiah Naidu will chair the virtual Council of Heads of Government (CHG) summit of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Council on November 30, said the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA).
India assumed the Chairmanship of the SCO Council of CHG in 2019 and will complete its tenure on the day of the summit.
It will be the first time that a summit-level meeting will be held under India’s watch since it gained full -membership of the SCO in 2017. The SCO CHG deals primarily with the trade and economic agenda and approves its annual budget. Apart from the other seven SCO members (Kazakhstan, China, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan), four observer states—Afghanistan, Belarus, Iran and Mongolia—will also participate. Turkmenistan will be invited as a special guest.
India’s engagement with SCO started in 2005 as an Observer State and India became a full member of the SCO at the historic Astana Summit in 2017.
The meeting will end with a Joint Communique that contains the major proposals of Member States on issues of trade and economic cooperation. There will also be a report on the implementation of the SCO Multilateral Trade and Economic Cooperation prepared by the SCO Secretariat.
During its Chairmanship, India has particularly focused on creating three new pillars of cooperation: Startups and Innovation, Science and Technology and Traditional Medicine and also proposed many other concrete initiatives.
“By hosting the 19th meeting of the SCO CHG, India hopes to further strengthen trade, economic and cultural cooperation within SCO,” said the MEA press release.
India considers SCO as an important regional organisation to promote cooperation in the areas of peace, security, trade, economy and culture and is committed to widening cooperation by playing a proactive, positive and constructive role in the organisation, it added.