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Premier meets SCO counterparts

The Prime Ministers of Shanghai Cooperation Organization member states have started talks on issues of regional development. This is the 14th such meeting. They are expected to discuss cooperation in trade, investment, finance, transportation and culture.

This is the first time for the Premier to play host to his five SCO counterparts. Premier Li Keqiang opened with a reminder of the organization’s mission.

“The SCO has become an important force to maintain regional peace, stability and prosperity. It has also become an important regional cooperation platform of Eurasia,” Premier Li said.

The Premier believes this meeting could further promote cooperation, and make new contributions to regional stability and developments.

The meeting also includes observers and dialogue partners. Premier Li said the organization is facing huge challenges.

“Currently the world economic growth is sluggish, and many countries are facing downward pressure on their economies. It has been compounded by emerging geopolitical crises in complex international and regional landscapes, and rising scourges of extremism and terrorism, posing unprecedented challenges to the international community,” the Premier said.

The Premier proposed strengthening six aspects to face these challenges, and continue to promote regional development: Cooperation in security, production capacity, connectivity, financing, regional trade, and social undertakings and people’s wellbeing.

The prime ministers will later sign a statement on regional economic cooperation.

The SCO was founded in 2001. It currently has six member states — China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan. Afghanistan, India, Iran, Mongolia and Pakistan are observers; and its dialogue partners are Belarus, Turkey and Sri Lanka.