Trade and economic cooperation priority for SCO member states

Trade and economic cooperation is of paramount importance for the member states of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation. This was disclosed on Tuesday by Alexander Yakovenko, spokesman for the Russian Foreign Ministry, in an interview with RIA Novosti ahead of Wednesday's upcoming session of the SCO member states' heads.

A long-term programme of trade and economic cooperation is being worked out, with concrete economic projects under consideration, the spokesman said.

In October 2002 Beijing hosted the 1st SCO forum for investment and development in the energy sector, Yakovenko mentioned. "These issues will be placed on the agenda of the meeting among the SCO member states' heads, scheduled for the beginning of this autumn," the official said.

Besides, the official spokesman for the Russian Federation's Foreign Ministry outlined interaction in other spheres. In particular, work on the agreement on mutual assistance to eliminate emergencies is coming to an end, partners are arranging arts festivals among SCO member countries and discussing projects of cooperation at the level of transport ministries.

The SCO includes Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.

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