Cooperation between Central Asia and SCO
Representatives of research centers of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) member countries opined that the SCO is contributing to the maintenance of stability and peace in Central Asia. They also viewed that the organization promotes the economic development in the region. The opinions were shared at an expert meeting in Astana.
The SCO member countries have a close cooperation to combat separatism and religious extremism, resulting in the establishment of the SCO regional anti-terrorist structure and a special contact group on the settlement of Afghan conflict.
KHUDOBERDI KHOLIKNAZAR, DIRECTOR OF CENTER FOR STRATEGIC STUDIES UNDER TAJIK PRESIDENT:
- A very solid and powerful regional structure on combating terrorism and extremism is established as part of the SCO. Its headquarters is located in Tashkent. From 2005, this structure showed its capability and efficiency, and most importantly, thanks to these structures, our region is consistently advancing forward over the past twenty years. Our economic and political relations are strengthening as well.
The SCO member countries are currently interested in expanding cooperation in the economic field. Experts believe that the SCO economic think tank will provide great support in solving the financial issues. This initiative was put forward by the Kazakh representatives three years ago. The establishment of the analytical center will be discussed at the Summit of the SCO leaders’ Council on June 9-10 in Qingdao. The center is expected to be located in Kazakhstan. Representatives of all SCO member countries will work there.
SERIK BEISEMBAYEV, EXPERT, INSTITUTE OF WORLD ECONOMICS AND POLITICS:
- The integration to be part of the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU), the SCO and the Central Asian region and closer economic cooperation are Kazakhstan’s major priorities in cooperation with all the countries of the region. First of all, this closer integration is driven by the challenges. Secondly, this exact model of cooperation proved its effectiveness over the past several years. We can see that thanks to the economic cooperation, Kazakhstan strengthened its cooperation with China, Russia, and Uzbekistan.
Experts viewed that the Central Asian countries’ cooperation with China as part of the SCO will boost trade, investments and integration into the promising economic market of Asia. Moreover, Beijing also proposed to establish a free trade zone in the region.