Shanghai Cooperation Organization Firms Up Commitment to Trade Facilitation Plan

10 June 2018

Leaders of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) member countries—the People’s Republic of China (PRC), India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan—met on 9-10 June 2018, for an SCO Heads of State Council Meeting in Qingdao, PRC. They endorsed a statement underscoring the SCO’s commitment to facilitate trade across its members’ borders through simplified procedures.

Read the full text of the “Joint Communique of the Heads of State of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization on Simplifying Trade Procedures” below:

The Heads of State of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO, or the Organization), following the SCO Heads of State Council Meeting in Qingdao (People's Republic of China) on 9-10 June 2018, declare the following:

In order to develop the main ideas stipulated by the Charter of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization signed on 7 June 2002, to further promote economic cooperation in the region, recognize the significant potential for further developing mutual trade between the SCO Member States, based on the close geographic location of the SCO Member States, and support the work carried out by the SCO to simplify trade procedures, the Member States affirm their intention to continue cooperating with the intent of simplifying trade procedures between the countries.

Simplifying trade procedures, decreasing the number of customs formalities on imports, exports and transit of goods, increasing transparency, developing cooperation between border agencies, including customs, and expediting the transit of goods, the release of goods and customs clearance to simplify and promote mutual trade between the SCO Member States.

The SCO Member States are convinced that it is necessary to continue the discussion of corresponding approaches to the issue in order to simplify trade in the region, considering the importance of the joint efforts needed to support and strengthen the multilateral trade system based on the standards and principles of the World Trade Organization.


Heads of state in attendance were Prime Minister of the Republic of India Narendra Modi, President of the Republic of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev, President of the People’s Republic of China Xi Jinping, President of the Kyrgyz Republic Sooronbay Jeenbekov, President of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan Mamnoon Hussain, President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin, President of the Republic of Tajikistan Emomali Rahmon, and President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev.

This meeting in Qingdao, led by President Xi Jinping, also highlighted achievements in regional cooperation and its future potential. It also discussed possible future cooperation between SCO and regional development banks, including setting up an “SCO Development Bank” or “SCO Development Fund” in the future. Leaders from India and Pakistan were attending the Heads of State Council Meeting for the first time, since joining one year ago.

The SCO is a permanent intergovernmental international organization. Its main goals are to i) strengthen mutual trust and neighbourliness among its member states; ii) promote their effective cooperation in politics, trade, the economy, research, technology and culture, as well as in education, energy, transport, tourism, environmental protection, and other areas; iii) make joint efforts to maintain and ensure peace, security and stability in the region; and iv) move toward the establishment of a democratic, fair and rational new international political and economic order.


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