Pakistan Uzbekistan have Important Role to Play in Shanghai Cooperation Organization : Oyebek Arif Usmanov
Islamabad; Ambassador of Uzbekistan H.E Oybek Arif Usmanov has said that the role of Pakistan and Uzbekistan in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) is of paramount importance and is a milestone in regional and global economic integration.Uzbekistan is at the center of Central Asian countries and Pakistan has its own geostrategic importance which can play a significant role in its economic and trade connectivity in the SCO.
“SCO Heads of State Council in Samarkand will pave the way towards collective peace, stability and development of the member states. President Shavkat Mirziyoyev’s proposals will contribute in setting the direction of the future endeavours of the member states.” Ambassador noted.
He said this while addressing the Senior Journalists’ and Editors’ session organized by think tank COPAIR along with International Journal “Pakistan in the World” here.
Mr. Oybek said “The President Shavkat is clear with a determined topical points and issues to be discussed at the heads of states council. He has outlined the priorities and tasks to achieve in this highest level meet. These include :1- Efforts to raise the potential and authority of the organization, 2-Ensure peace and stability in the region,3-Reduce poverty, 4-Ensure food security, 5-Development of intraregional trade,eliminating trade barriers, aligning technical regulations, digitizing customs procedures.
The ambassador said that Uzbekistan as the chair of Shanghai Cooperation Organization, is hosting the 2022 annual summit of the SCO Heads of State Council on September 15-16 in Samarkand. It would be attended by the Heads of State and Foreign Ministers of all the member countries and economic, trade and political cooperation among the member countries would be discussed.
He said that regional to regional cooperation would be discussed at the SCO summit which would be helpful in mutual cooperation among the member countries. Central Asian countries also have a policy of regional cooperation which can enhance bilateral relations, the ambassador said .
He said that SCO member countries have huge economic powers which can play their full role in economic and trade cooperation between the countries. Responding to a question, he said that the SCO summit would seek new economic drivers for the promotion of economic and trade cooperation among the member countries in which technology and innovation are very important.
The envoy said that the use of information technology and modern technology in new dimensions is very important which will be discussed at the summit for its promotion. On this occasion, he said that there is an agreement on transit trade between Pakistan and Uzbekistan signed, which needs time to be implemented.
In addition, rail, air and road connectivity are crucial for the development of economic relations. In response to a question, he said that the foundation of economic relations between Pakistan and Uzbekistan was laid by former Prime Minister, Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif.
In the past, bilateral trade was only $20 million, which has now reached $185 million in 2021. He said that Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) has been signed between Pakistan and Uzbekistan, which will increase bilateral trade.
He said that agreements have been signed between the provinces and cities of Pakistan and Uzbekistan on mutual cooperation.
He said the SCO meeting will also discuss bilateral trade cooperation and the promotion of Small and Mudium Enterrises ( SMEs).
Amna Malik, Chairperson COPAIR said that economic relations in SCO member countries are very important which will help in economic integration in these countries.She said that the role of Pakistan and Central Asian countries, especially Uzbekistan, in the economic prosperity of the region is of utmost importance.
Editor Tazeen Akhtar said that SCO is the second largest organization in the world after UNO which has a very important role to play. The SCO Summit in Uzbekistan is of utmost importance both for the member states as well as Central Asia and South Asia, he said.