On October 29, 2020, the 1st SCO Member States’ Heads of Regions Forum was held via video link by Russia. Heads of member states’ trade and economic departments and local governments were invited to the forum. Yu Jianhua, Vice Minister of Commerce and Deputy China International Trade Representative attended and addressed the forum.
Yu Jianhua said that the COVID-19 pandemic spreading around the globe and a handful of countries’ pursuit of unilateralism and protectionism presented major challenges to the world economy, including in the SCO region, but this would waver neither the Shanghai Spirit, nor SCO member states’ resolve and confidence to unite as one and cooperate. The fundamentals of mutually beneficial and win-win cooperation between the SCO member states remain unchanged. Since the beginning of this year, upholding the Shanghai Spirit, SCO member states have been helping each other to weather difficulties, fully implementing the Program of Multilateral Trade and Economic Cooperation, supporting businesses in resuming work and production and ensuring the basic stability of industrial and supply chains, which are all vivid practices of jointly building a community with a shared future for mankind.
Yu Jianhua pointed out that subnational cooperation is an important part of SCO regional cooperation. China's Shandong Province, Chongqing Municipality, Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region and Shaanxi Province are actively building platforms for SCO subnational cooperation. He recommended that all parties jointly promote friendly subnational exchanges and deepen mutually beneficial cooperation: first, better alignment of regional development strategies and policies and facilitating cooperation on key projects; second, enhancing trade facilitation and the ability to provide services as well as keeping industrial and supply chains stable and smooth; third, jointly optimizing the business environment and increasing support and protection for enterprises and projects; fourth, enhancing capacity building for agricultural economic and technical cooperation, trade in agricultural products and poverty reduction for the sake of inclusive and sustainable development.
Participating parties unanimously expressed their willingness to work together to address the challenges presented by COVID-19, actively implement the Development Programme of the Interregional Cooperation between the SCO Member States approved by the 2019 meeting of the Council of Heads of State of the SCO, and promote member states’ interregional cooperation in various fields such as trade, investment, industry, agriculture, transport infrastructure, scientific and technological innovation, education and culture.