Source: China Plus Published: 2018-6-11
Over the past four years, a batch of major joint projects have been completed in SCO member states under the framework of Belt and Road, including highways, railways, tunnels and electric power plants, which improve the cross-border logistics conditions and promotes the development of the SCO countries.
In an exclusive interview with CRI, the Pakistan ambassador to China Masood Khalid gives credit to China`s role in the economic development of the SCO regions.
"In the course of peaceful development, China is playing a very important role in boosting the regional economic development in Asia. When we talk about the interconnection, logistics connectivity, roads connection, trade and many other aspects, we`d find that without China, all those can hardly be realized. That`s why China plays a pivotal role in the SCO."
According to the stats from 2016, the overall GDP of the SCO countries exceeded $15 trillion US Dollars, making up 21% of the global GDP, and the total export volume exceeded $6 trillion US Dollars, accounting for 13%. In the same year, the member states of SCO have seen their GDP increase 4.84% on average, twice the global average. The overall foreign direct investment of SCO countries totalled 11% of the entire global volume. According to the Ministry of Commerce, China`s total trade volume with Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) member countries rose to $217.6 billion in 2017, a 19 percent increase from the previous year.
Liu Ying, a professor of Renmin University, oversees research into the Belt and Road Initiative. He says China invests heavily in numerous infrastructure projects to connect the region.
"As early as in 2009, China proposed a loan worth more than 10 billion US Dollars at the SCO Summit to maintain stability in the region. Later, China led several major projects with billions of dollars investment to connect the central Asian countries in infrastructure. For example, the China contributed more than 2 billion US Dollars on the China-Kazakhstan `capacity cooperation` fund".
In order to boost regional economy and trade, initiatives on several major projects for infrastructure like the China-Kyrgyzstan-Uzbekistan road, the China-Central Asia natural gas pipeline, the construction of the China-Kazakhstan and China-Russia crude oil pipelines, have been a tremendous boost to the local economy and trade in the region.
The Pakistan ambassador to China Masood Khalid says the Shanghai Cooperation Organization has done a great job in maintaining regional stability which further adds to the growth of the local economy.
"The SCO dedicate to boost member state`s trade and economic development to realize a wealthy and happy living for local people in the region. The priority is stability and peace. The SCO has done a lot to reach both stability and prosperity in economy at the same time."
Through cooperative efforts, China and other SCO member states will continue to develop a healthy economic cooperation with one and another, building a community shared by regionally and throughout the world.
Liu Ying is a research fellow of Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies at Renmin University of China.