Joint Communiqué of Meeting of Council of Heads of Government of SCO Member States
A regular meeting of the Council of Heads of Government (Prime Ministers) of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization ("SCO" or "the Organization") Member States was held on 2 November 2007 in Tashkent. Prime Minister Karim Masimov of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Premier Wen Jiabao of the People's Republic of China, acting Prime Minister Almaz Atambayev of the Kyrgyz Republic, Prime Minister Victor Zubkov of the Russian Federation, Prime Minister Akil Akilov of the Republic of Tajikistan and Prime Minister Shavkat Mirziyoyev of the Republic of Uzbekistan attended the meeting.
Representatives from the SCO observer states – Minister of State for External Affairs E. Ahamed of the Republic of India, First Vice President Parviz Davoodi of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Deputy Prime Minister Mendsaikhan Enkhsaikhan of Mongolia, Foreign Minister Khurshid Kasuri of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, as well as First Vice President Ahmad Zia Masood of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan who was guest of honor of the host state – also attended the meeting.
The SCO Secretary-General Bolat Nurgaliev and Director Myrzakan Subanov of the Executive Committee of the SCO Regional Anti-Terrorism Structure were present at the meeting.
In a friendly, pragmatic and constructive atmosphere, the delegations of the member states had in-depth discussion on a wide range of pressing issues relating to trade, economic and cultural cooperation in the SCO framework and peace, stability and security in the region.
In light of the achievements of the Bishkek Summit, the heads of government considered and approved measures on strengthening cooperation among the SCO member states in economy, investment, innovation, science and technology, education and culture.
1. It is the foundation of the work of the Organization to further expand and deepen trade, economic and cultural cooperation among the member states, promote their economic growth and improve the welfare of their peoples.
The heads of government noted that since the meeting of the SCO Council of Heads of Government (Prime Ministers) in September 2006 in Dushanbe, the member states have clearly intensified efforts in deepening and expanding economic and cultural cooperation and have successfully launched a host of pilot projects.
2. The heads of government noted the positive results of the meeting of ministers of external trade and economy of the SCO member states held on 24 October 2007 in Astana, during which concrete measures on the implementation of the Programme for Multilateral Trade and Economic Cooperation Among the SCO Member States were discussed and adopted. The adopted decisions are carried out in an orderly manner within the framework of the special and expert working groups in different fields.
3. Identification of priority projects in conformity with international standards and proper economic and technical feasibility studies for the projects will inject new vigor into the integration process of the SCO. Close cooperation with the SCO Business Council and Interbank Consortium on the implementation of major investment projects, in particular in infrastructure, basic economic sectors, high technology and export-oriented economic projects, will help enhance cooperation among SCO member states.
4. The heads of government expressed satisfaction over the signing of the Agreement on Cooperation Between the SCO Business Council and Interbank Consortium, and stressed the need for the two institutions to expand effective and practical cooperation to fulfill economic development tasks in the framework of the Organization and on the basis of equality, partnership and mutual benefit.
The Regulations on Interaction Among the Member Banks of the SCO Interbank Consortium on Selection, Evaluation and Implementation of Investment Projects will play an important role in promoting investment.
5. In order to strengthen economic cooperation, the heads of government instructed the SCO Secretariat to work with the Commission of Senior Officials in Charge of Trade and Economic Cooperation and the special working groups to make an inventory of the projects covered by the action plan on implementation of the programme for multilateral trade and economic cooperation.
6. Taking into consideration the financial need of the Organization in trade, economic and investment activities, including the implementation of the pilot projects, the heads of government deemed it necessary to expedite the creation of the SCO Development Fund.
7. The heads of government attached great importance to the outcome of the first conference of heads of fuel and energy departments held on 29 June 2007 in Moscow, which discussed the prospects for cooperation in energy sector, including comparing the relevant national strategies of the member states. The heads of government stressed the need for close cooperation among the member states in formulating common position in this field. To that end, the regular meetings of the Special Working Group on Fuel and Energy Issues in 2008 should discuss the ways to implement the agreements reached at the Moscow conference.
8. The heads of government noted the importance of an early completion of the draft SCO Concept of Cooperation in Environmental Protection, as well as the need to conduct cooperation on issues related to rational and effective use of hydroelectric resources in the region.
9. The heads of government stated that the implementation of the pilot project of the "SCO transnational cooperation on the use of electronic signature" selected by the Special Working Group on Modern Information and Telecommunication Technologies will boost investment cooperation in the high-tech sector within the SCO framework.
The heads of government expressed readiness to encourage cooperation within the SCO framework in science and technology-intensive fields and the development of advanced manufacturing projects through joint investment.
10. The heads of government noted that the completion of the draft SCO Intergovernmental Agreement on Road Transportation Facilitation will help deepen cooperation in transportation.
11. The heads of government stressed the urgency of implementing the following pilot projects: the simultaneous construction of Volgograd-Astrakhan-Atyrau-Beyneu-Kungrad highway and Aktau- Beyneu-Kungrad highway and a bridge across the Kigach river as part of the E-40 international transportation route; the development of Osh-Sarytash-Irkeshtam-Kashgar highway and Bratstvo-Dushanbe- Karamyk-Irkeshtam-Kashgar highway and the construction of a trans-shipping terminal in Kashgar for multimodal transportation. The heads of government stressed the need of simultaneous construction of Volgograd-Astrakhan-Atyrau-Beyneu-Kungrad highway and Aktau- Beyneu-Kungrad highway as part of the E-40 international transportation route.
12. The heads of government noted the urgent need to look into the cooperation in railway transportation, which includes further development of regional railway networks for the purpose of developing economic cooperation and trade among SCO member states. Relevant ministries and departments of the member states should consider and identify new transportation projects within the framework of the Organization.
13. The heads of government welcomed the signing during this meeting of the Agreement Among the Governments of the SCO Member States on Cooperation and Mutual Assistance in Customs Affairs. The Special Working Group on Customs Cooperation was instructed to continue its work on creating conditions for harmonized customs, administrative, transportation procedures and mutual recognition of customs documents.
14. The heads of government believed agricultural cooperation should be conducted and strengthened among the member states, and the potential of the SCO Business Council should be fully tapped in this process.
15. The heads of government noted the importance of the Agreement Among the Governments of the SCO Member States in the Field of Culture and instructed the SCO Secretariat to work with the Expert Working Group on Cultural Cooperation to work out specific proposals on the implementation of this document.
16. The heads of government instructed the Expert Working Group on Educational Cooperation to speed up the consultation on the action plan on implementation of the Agreement Among the Governments of the SCO Member States in the Field of Education signed on 15 June 2006.
17. The heads of government welcomed the launch of cooperation in the field of healthcare. The SCO Secretariat was instructed to work with experts from the member states of the Organization to draw up a cooperation plan for health ministries and departments of the member states and identify priority areas of cooperation in this field.
18. The heads of government appreciated the launch of tourism cooperation among the SCO member states and considered it necessary to complete the consultation on relevant plans.
19. The heads of government, as entrusted by the Council of SCO Heads of State, approved the new structure and staff order of the Executive Committee of the SCO Regional Anti-Terrorism Structure.
20. The heads of government considered financial issues of the SCO and approved the 2008 budget of the Organization.
The heads of government agreed to hold the next meeting of the Council of Heads of Government (Prime Ministers) of the SCO Member States in 2008 in the Republic of Kazakhstan.
Prime Minister of the Republic of Kazakhstan Karim Masimov
Premier of the State Council of the People's
Republic of China Wen Jiabao
Acting Prime Minister of the Kyrgyz Republic Almaz Atambayev
Prime Minister of the Russian Federation Victor Zubkov
Prime Minister of the Republic of Tajikistan Akil Akilov
Prime Minister of the Republic of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev
Tashkent, 2 November 2007