Astana: SCO summit for security and economic growth

ASTANA – The high-profile two-day summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) began yesterday in Kazakhstan’s capital, Astana, bringing together nearly a dozen heads of state and government from the member countries.

This year, the summit is focused on strengthening regional security and promoting bilateral trade, particularly between China and Kazakhstan. Chinese President Xi Jinping emphasized the shared goals and the vision of a fair world order. With bilateral trade reaching a record value of 41 billion US dollars, he announced visa-free travel and new projects in the fields of energy and infrastructure.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is participating as a dialogue partner of the SCO, representing Turkey, a NATO member, which underscores the growing importance of the organization. India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi will not be present in person but will be represented by his Foreign Minister Jaishankar.

Since its establishment in 2001, the SCO has evolved into a significant multilateral organization committed to promoting regional cooperation in Asia. Based in Beijing and with members such as China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan, the SCO has created a platform for dialogue and cooperation that extends well beyond its original goals.

China, as a founding member and a driving force behind many SCO initiatives, sees this summit as an opportunity to further deepen its relations with neighboring countries and promote joint projects that aim to enhance prosperity and stability in the region. (zai)