Meeting of the SCO Council of Heads of Government

Dmitry Medvedev: “Russia attaches great importance to strengthening the economic cooperation between our countries. The key objective in this respect is to ensure that the programme for multilateral trade and economic cooperation until 2020 and the initiatives aimed at promoting project implementation until 2016 are results-driven.”

Excerpts from Dmitry Medvedev’s remarks:

Our meeting is taking place amid a growing crisis in the global economy. There are problems related to politics, there are problems concerning security, including in our region. The entire SCO security space is facing this challenge. We need to develop joint efforts for further cooperation in all areas – economy, security, and, of course, to maintain the overall socioeconomic stability in our countries.

Russia will preside over the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation during the next year and attaches great importance to strengthening the economic cooperation between our countries through a new quality of project activity within the Organisation.

The key objective in this respect is to ensure that the programme for multilateral trade and economic cooperation until 2020 and the initiatives aimed at promoting project implementation until 2016 are results-driven. They should be revised in accordance with actual needs and the actual situation. Certainly, the business community, including the SCO Business Council and the SCO Interbank Consortium, could also contribute to this process.

We are planning to hold the Business Summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation in June 2015 as part of the annual St Petersburg International Economic Forum. I hope that a package of concrete proposals will also be formulated after the forum.

SCO projects should be backed by financial tools that we need to create. This is an essential condition for successful project implementation. Therefore the countries concerned should complete their consultations on establishing this mechanism in the near future. They should decide on the format and on an agency serving as the foundation for this work. Regardless of whether this is the Eurasian Development Bank or some new agency, we need to make this decision.

The creation of a common transport space is another promising aspect of our joint work. I believe that the agreement on international road haulage, signed in September 2014, will increase the interconnectivity of SCO countries. Next, we’ll implement a programme for the coordinated development of roads, now being assessed by the agencies of SCO counties.

Our partners are also currently reviewing several documents in the area of information and telecommunications technology. One of them stipulates reduced prices and rates for roaming services, and the second document deals with data exchanges for verifying electronic signatures.

The Energy Club is facing new opportunities, with due consideration for current price fluctuations on global commodity markets, primarily oil and gas. We should more actively use this platform for reviewing energy security issues and for merging the stances of all market participants. From the very outset, we should, of course, focus on modern and mutually beneficial contracts in this area.

Expanded contacts with multilateral organisations and forums, including the APEC economies and ASEAN, will help strengthen our organisation. I hope that the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation will obtain additional dividends by establishing cooperation with the Eurasian Economic Union that will start functioning in 2015.

The future of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation is inseparably linked with expanded contacts between individuals and with youth projects. We have implemented the successful Shanghai Cooperation Organisation University project uniting almost 70 education institutions. We expect to sign an intergovernmental agreement on establishing a SCO University next year.

We should expand cooperation in the area of healthcare in order to prevent the most dangerous diseases, such as the Ebola virus. I am urging you to more actively implement the programme for distributing information about the epidemiological status caused by infectious diseases, in SCO countries.

Russia will do its outmost to achieve the goals of our organisation during its presidency.