FICCI is the Designated Business Secretariat of SCO in India
India has been at the forefront of vigorously engaging with numerous world powers, multilateral institutions as well as regional groupings. In this context, it is essential for India to take note of the developments at SCO (Shanghai Cooperation Organisation).
What started off as 'Shanghai 5' in 1996 for security and border peace between the countries of Kazakhstan, China, Kyrgyz Republic, Russia and Tajikistan has metamorphosed into SCO, which today has an ambitious regional and global vision coupled with a strong economic mandate.
The expansion of SCO last year to include India and Pakistan now makes this a powerful and strategic regional grouping accountable for 40 per cent of world's population, almost 20 per cent of its GDP and 22 per cent of the world's landmass. This year the SCO Summit took place in Qingdao, China, where SCO Heads of State met on 9-10 June 2018.
On the sidelines of this political summit, the SCO Business Council meeting took place on 6 June 2018 in Beijing. FICCI, as the designated Business Secretariat of SCO in India attended the council – for the first time India participated as full member of the SCO. Shiv Khemka, Vice Chairman, SUN Group is the Chair of the SCO National Chapter in India.
The SCO Business Council was established with the objective of pursuing common economic interests of SCO nations. The Business Council of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation was founded on 14 June 2006 in Shanghai.
The key takeaways of the meeting are as follows: It was decided that interests of the business community deserve better representation It was agreed to preserve the commitment to intensify the enlarged cooperation between SCO Business Council Secretariat and national SCO Business Councils, with SCO Ministerial Meeting and the working group It was discussed and agreed that to elaborate youth entrepreneurship development programme through the organization of interaction with the SCO Youth Forum, to develop possible formats for positioning the young entrepreneurs from the SCO countries, in which successful satraps and business models can be presented, to consider the possibility of creating a SCO Business Council youth branch It was agreed to enhance SCO-BC potential by combining the activities of business structures with state enterprises' activities, to create innovation funds to support small and medium-sized businesses, high-tech projects, creation of state-of-the-art joint production facilities It was discussed and agreed upon to provide support in the developing cooperation in energy, to hold specialized conferences in this field. To form SCO-BC discussion platform on energy for ensuring exchange of experience and application of new technologies in the sphere of energy saving, ecology and environmental protection activities, development and processing of products, traditional and new high-tech production facilities The meeting also discussed how to create additional mechanisms for the SCO-BC financial activities, through the formation of investment funds, banking and financial associations and specialized companies. To provide support for interaction of business structures within the framework of free economic zones, territories of advanced development or similar entities, to provide information on the state of activity in them. For India, membership to this grouping will strengthen its relations with Central Asian Republics and provide a new opportunity to pursue the 'Connect Central Asian Policy'. India's interest in seeking membership to this multilateral grouping shows that foreign policy will no longer be driven by political necessities alone, but through economic diplomacy.
Delegation members at the SCO Business Council.