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01 November 2022, 15:35

Belarus' priorities in Shanghai Cooperation Organization identified

MINSK, 1 November (BelTA) – Prime Minister of Belarus Roman Golovchenko identified the country's priorities at a session of the Heads of Government Council of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), BelTA has learned.

Roman Golovchenko said: “Belarus' priorities within the framework of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization remain unchanged and are in full compliance with the organization's key document – the Shanghai Cooperation Organization Charter. Our country also fully shares the approaches stipulated by the Samarkand declaration of the Heads of State Council. We are in favor of ensuring regional stability, security, and sustainable economic development, further improvement of practical cooperation, and the advancement of humanitarian dialogue.”

Roman Golovchenko

The prime minister spoke at length about the matters that are in sync with the Shanghai Cooperation Organization's development priorities. “Regional and international security is the first one. Belarus wholeheartedly supports the Shanghai Cooperation Organization's efforts to ensure peace and sustainable development both in the Asian region and in a broader international format. Amid attempts of individual blocs and states to drive a wedge between SCO countries we believe it is necessary to step up the coordination of the organization's actions with those of regional organizations in Eurasia – the Collective Security Treaty Organization and the Eurasian Economic Union – for the sake of ensuring stability in the region taking into account new challenges and threats,” he noted.

Economic cooperation is the second priority. “Belarus is a country with an open economy and is deeply interested in advancing trade and economic cooperation with countries of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization – the world's largest regional organization. Our trade with SCO countries was close to $33 billion in January-August 2022, nearly 12% up from January-August 2021. Trade with SCO countries accounted for 70% of Belarus' total foreign trade in this period. We believe that the current figures are far from what can be achieved,” the Belarusian head of government is convinced.

Belarus welcomes the signing in Samarkand of a roadmap on increasing the share of national currencies in mutual transactions of the SCO member states. “Belarus' participation in the SCO's interbank association, the development of transaction business, banking business, the implementation of foreign currency exchange operations with SCO banks, the development of the insurance industry in the SCO space are also of interest for us,” Roman Golovchenko added.

“With a well-developed agribusiness complex of its own, Belarus not only satisfies the domestic demand but actively exports products and raw materials. Seeing the need to ensure food security, we are ready for expanding joint work on deliveries of high-quality agricultural products. Belarus is ready to offer a broad lineup of both foods and fertilizers for production expansion to the Shanghai Cooperation Organization countries,” the prime minister pointed out.

Cooperation in power engineering is the third priority. “In our opinion, the current expansion of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization demonstrates the organization's colossal capabilities for developing energy cooperation. We believe it is important to pool efforts along this track and step up contacts within the framework of the SCO's energy club,” Roman Golovchenko pointed out.

Interaction in information sphere is the fourth priority. “We are in favor of enhancing cooperation in the area of digital development, expanding digital commerce, stimulating the creation of national pavilions at the largest digital platforms of the SCO countries, in favor of organizing the exchange of digital documents. We believe it is important to advance interaction on the basis of pilot regions, industrial clusters, and IT parks of the SCO countries in such areas as digital economy and trade, artificial intelligence, big data, digital government. Belarus' Hi-Tech Park is ready to take an active part in the development of the relevant software and share the necessary experience,” the Belarusian head of government concluded.

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