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Beijing Review Exclusive
Special> Shanghai Cooperation Organization 12th Summit> Beijing Review Exclusive
UPDATED: November 14, 2011 NO. 46 NOVEMBER 17, 2011
Beyond Europe
Facing the EU debt crisis, the SCO pushes for regional financial security

Steady progress

Despite the lingering global financial crisis, SCO members have been able to resolve their difficulties quickly and maintain economic growth, the joint statement said.

Since its inception 10 years ago, the SCO has made tangible achievements. These achievements have laid the foundation for member states to work together to tackle the financial crisis and other challenges and safeguard their common interests, Wen said at the St. Petersburg meeting.

Currently, the international situation is undergoing major changes. The SCO needs to seize development opportunities for the benefit of people in the region, Wen said.

Trade between China and other SCO states soared from $12.1 billion in 2001 to $84 billion in 2010, according to Chinese statistics. Over the past decade, China has promised to offer $12 billion in preferential loans to other SCO members. Since 2009, it has sent investment and trade promotion missions to these countries, signing deals worth more than $8 billion.

China, currently holding the rotating presidency of the SCO, is willing to work with other members to devise a new 10-year plan for the organization covering political, economic and cultural areas, he said.

It will also make efforts to achieve the established goals and tasks of the SCO and make new contributions to promoting regional and global peace and development, Wen added.

Shanghai Cooperation Organization

The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) was founded in Shanghai on June 15, 2001. The SCO groups China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. The SCO has four observers—Mongolia, Pakistan, Iran and India, and two dialogue partners—Belarus and Sri Lanka.

SCO member states cover a land area of more than 30 million square km, three fifths of the total area of the Eurasian continent. They have a combined population of about 1.5 billion.

When it was founded, the SCO was largely defined as an intergovernmental mutual security organization. But it has since expanded cooperation to other areas, including economy, science, technology and culture.

A regular meeting mechanism among the SCO prime ministers was established in September 2001. The next SCO prime ministers' meeting will be held in Kyrgyzstan in 2012.

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