SCO aims at restoring economies of member nations: Secretary-General, SCO

New Delhi: Ambassador Vladimir Norov, Secretary-General of SCO (Shanghai Cooperation Organization) yesterday said that the road map of SCO, which envisages 150 activities across the spectrum of multifaceted cooperation in the coming years is aimed at restoring the economies of the Member States of the organization and further intensifying trade and economic cooperation.

Addressing the SCO Business Conclave organized by FICCI, Amb Norov said that SCO’s demand as an effective platform for the development of collective measures to overcome the epidemiological, political, and socio-economic consequences of the pandemic, based on the principles of the Shanghai Spirit, has significantly strengthened.

Amb Norov further noted that the SCO Business Conclave is timely and relevant as the pandemic has caused enormous damage to public health and the world economy. “Due to interruptions in supply chains and production, many companies, especially SMEs, are going bankrupt, and unemployment is on the rise in most countries in the world, including the SCO countries. Digital economy will play an important role in the post-COVID-19 global economic recovery,” he added.

Mr Sergey Kanavsky, Executive Secretary, SCO Business Council said that there is a need to develop specific processes to strengthen our economic ties and need effective exchanges to develop the MSME sector to organize global exhibitions. “Healthcare and pharma are relevant areas in the current scenario and the business council has developed proposals to create centres for traditional medicines,” he added.

Dr Sangita Reddy, President, FICCI, said that the SCO Business Conclave is a laudable vision on what is probably the most important topic at present. She further stated that the Govt of India has mandated FICCI to represent the Indian industry at SCO Business Council and as the largest and oldest apex chamber in India, FICCI welcomes India’s full membership in SCO since 2017. “The Business Council is an important part of the SCO and will play an even more significant role with a growing focus of the grouping on economic aspects. Through the SCO Business Council, FICCI aims to build India’s SCO vision to strengthen intra-regional trade, enhance business opportunities within the region, build investment linkages, promote innovation,” added Dr Reddy.

She also laid stress on FICCI’s support for the SCO Start-up intervention. “The SCO Start-up forum, which was recently launched by the Commerce Minister is a significant initiative,” said Dr Reddy.

FICCI calls for the expansion of SCO Business Council in a structured manner. Formation of working groups is important going forward. There is tremendous economic opportunity.

Further, informing the Council of the FICCI Annual Expo 2020 (FAE 2020), Dr Reddy said that FAE 2020, a one-of-its-kind virtual event in the country is focused on the manufacturing and services sectors. Starting 11 December 2020, the Expo will extend for a period of one year. “FICCI Annual Expo will be organized in conjunction with the FICCI Annual General Meeting. The theme for this year is ‘Inspired India’ and the Prime Minister of India will inaugurate the Annual Convention and Expo,” she further informed. She also called for collective efforts to put up an SCO Pavilion at this virtual, year-long expo.

Mr Shiv Vikram Khemka, Chair, SCO National Chapter India, said that India’s engagement with the SCO region dates back centuries. “As a Full Member to SCO as a grouping since 2017, we have received great warmth and welcome from the SCO Business Council as shown in the presence of all Chapters here today in full strength. We want to highlight traditional medicines and MSMEs today. The problem of job losses needs to be solved through the government and entrepreneurship to restart the engine of growth,” he added.

Mr Raimbek Batalov, Chair, National Chapter of the SCO Business Council from Kazakhstan; Chair, Board of Directors, Raimbek Group noted that the SCO members need to enhance the potential of MSMEs through international partnerships, virtual exhibitions and conferences and training workshops.

Mr Wu Meng, Secretary General of SCO Chinese Business Council, Director General of Department of Bilateral Cooperation, CCOIC, China said that China will continue to drive innovation and industrial optimization as key tasks. He also spoke about innovation and industrial optimization and emphasized the importance of helping foreign trade enterprises.

Mr Jamshed Jumakhonzoda, Chair National Chapter of the SCO Business Council from Tajikistan, CCI of Tajikistan said that Tajikistan intends to actively cooperate closely with SCO countries and explore the various digital possibilities that the pandemic has opened the world up to.

Mr Dilip Chenoy, Secretary General, FICCI said that FICCI is privileged to represent India in the SCO Business Council. “The world is facing many challenges and digital literacy is the key to take the global initiatives forward,” he said.

At the plenary session on Traditional Medicine for Sustainable and Healthy Living in SCO, Dr Manoj Nesari, Advisor (Ayurveda) and Head- International Cooperation, Ministry of AYUSH, Govt of India and Advisor FICCI AYUSH Committee, India shared the Indian perspective on how traditional medicine has been integrated into the healthcare systems in a holistic manner.

Dr Nesari welcomed collaborations from all SCO countries to cooperate for the promotion of the traditional medicine sector, including creation of single window clearance for medical products. He also added that the Prime Minister of India has proposed a Working Group on Traditional Medicine to popularize the knowledge of traditional and ancient medicine across SCO countries.

Mr Anurag Sharma, Member of Indian Parliament & Joint Managing Director, Shree Baidyanath Ayurved Bhawan Pvt Ltd, and Chair FICCI AYUSH Committee conveyed that wellness and care throughout life is important rather than just disease management.

At the second plenary session on Creating demand for MSMEs during the Corona Pandemic – challenges, opportunities & support from governments, Ms Alka Nangia Arora, Joint Secretary-SME, Ministry of MSME, Govt of India informed that a grievance redressal mechanism through an AI portal has also been set up to help entrepreneurs across the country.

Mr R Narayan, President, FICCI-CMSME and Founder and CEO, Power2SME Pvt Ltd said that the MSME is a vulnerable sector of the economy and it has been hit worst during the outbreak of COVID-19 and subsequent lockdowns.