SCO Secy General visits FPCCI Capital Office

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ISLAMABAD, JUL 26 /DNA/ – Secretary General of Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) H.E. Zhang Ming visited FPCCI Capital Office, Islamabad. The SCO Secretary-General called on Irfan Iqbal Sheikh, President FPCCI, Mirza Abdul Rehman Chairman Coordination FPCCI, and other Business Community of Pakistan. During the meeting, the importance of effectively using the potentials of the multilateral trade and economic cooperation created during the process of the SCO’s activities was discussed. It was reaffirmed that SCO must consider the initiatives to develop and adopt an Economic Development Strategy for the SCO Region. Participates suggested that visa sticker scheme of SCO for the member states to enhance people to people contact and in the region so that the bilateral and multilateral trade and business can be flourished.

Mr. Irfan Iqbal Sheikh President of FPCCI said that it is indeed a great honor for FPCCI that the Honorable Secretary General H.E. Zhang Ming of the SCO Secretariat visits FPCCI first time after accreditation of the membership of SCO countries. we hope, this meeting will open new vistas in the relationship between Pakistan and SCO countries. SCO provides an excellent opportunity to create linkages as the bloc has proposed that all countries should try to simplify trade procedures and work for a free trade agreement.

FPCCI Chief further said the creation of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Development Bank and the SCO Development Fund along with the development of a draft roadmap on the gradual increase of the share of national currencies in reciprocal payments by the interested member states. He said that FPCCI is looking forward to enhanced trade and investment within SCO and forging a formidable economic alliance for mutual prosperity and development of the member nations. he raised the issues of economic, trade, and investment liberalization within the powerful bloc of SCO. He also highlighted the economic and commercial potential of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) & Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) Gas Pipeline Project. They would not only promote the development of an open global economy based on the principles of multilateralism, mutual consultation, and mutual benefit but would also help in maintaining a smooth and stable operation of sustainable and diversified industrial supply chains.

Mirza Abdul Rehman, Chairman Coordination FPCCI, Capital Office, Islamabad said that the Pakistan is a big market of 221 million people and a GDP of US$ 383 billion. Pakistan is bestowed by Allah with one of the world’s richest natural resources and beauty. Pakistan is a gateway to the Central Asian States and has strong and long-standing links with the Middle East and South Asia. The CPEC will provide transit to the landlocked Central Asian countries from Pakistan through the shortest route and low cost of trade and provide connectivity to the Middle East and Africa. The project encompasses infrastructure projects including highways, railways, and pipelines along with energy projects and the establishment of Special Economic Zones. Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) plays an important role in the economic development of Pakistan. FDI in Pakistan is showing a rising trend and stood at US$ 2.6 billion. Power, oil and gas exploration, financial business, communication, beverages, chemical, construction, electronics, transport, petroleum refining, and personal services There are so many other sectors that have a high potential for earning profit.

Mr. Sohail Altaf Group Leader, Nadeem Rauf, President Rawalpindi Chamber, Uzmi Shahid Butt President, Miss Anbarin Ex-President Rawalpindi women Chamber, Owais Sati, shahid zaman, Khursheed Barlas, Executive Members, FPCCI, Abid Khan, Chairman of United Group Islamabad Chamber, and others added that Central Asia provides an opportunity for two-way trade. Pakistan has the potential to export finished products and some agricultural commodities. On the other hand, Pakistan can take benefit from the energy and mineral resources of Central Asia. Russia can help Pakistan develop scientific knowledge and adopt new technologies. Pakistan is located at a crossroads connecting South Asia, Central Asia, West Asia, and Western China and it can provide the shortest route to the warm waters of the Arabian Sea for western China as well as Central Asia. To achieve the maximum out of this strategic location, connectivity shall be established as Pakistan’s location serves as a gateway for the landlocked countries and could become a transit economy through Gwadar.

H.E. Zhang Ming, Secretary General, Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) expressed his views on a broad range of international and regional development issues and discussed trade, economic, cultural, and humanitarian cooperation in the SCO space. He discussed the Organization’s successful development as an effective mechanism of equal partnership based on the Shanghai spirit and also that SCO has taken a befitting place in the system of international organizations of multilateral cooperation. He termed Pakistan’s geo-strategic location ideal for connecting Central Asia countries with the sea routes. This will facilitate the trade among SCO member states and even beyond. The transport corridors stand to benefit all the member states, leading to win-win cooperation. SCO is a multi-dimensional organization in terms of its scope and functioning and Pakistan can benefit greatly from it. The organization has been contributing to enhancing cooperation among the member states, particularly in the area of economic development.

Secretary General SCO said about the we know that visa regime Arrangements is very important and I agree with the Ideas given by some member. He said that I will share your suggestions for visa with other member states to consider this. Women Empowerment is very important all the members of SCO give priority and pay attention to the Women Entrepreneurs and closely followed by the Governments of all the member states.  He said that National Women Education and Poverty Reduction Forum was held last year in July 2021 in Beijing, China. The Ideas proposed by that forum was very similar to the proposals given in todays meeting.

Secretary General SCO said that we are expecting another SCO Women’s Forum, the first one of this kind in Samarkand, Uzbekistan in 18-19 August, 2022. The purpose of this forum is to advance exchanges on gender equality, advance Women’s Rights and opportunities within SCO. He said that Women’s Education is also very critical because a well-educated mother can benefit her children. And The education for Women, how to start a business is also very important, which includes digitalization and training for E-Commerce. He said that the ideas of Mr. Ambreen Zaman Former President of Rawalpindi women Chamber of Commerce are Excellent and inspirational. SCO will also facilitate Women Entrepreneurs in this regard. Last year in the Summit in Dushanbe, Tajikistan, President Mr. Xi Jinping, China announced that China will provide 1000 training opportunities of Poverty Reduction to the all Countries of SCO. He said that these training opportunities would be given to women on a priority basis.