A government official on Monday urged member states of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) to boost trade and investment.
SCO members should strengthen coordination regarding customs, e-commerce and investment in order to boost trade, Vice Commerce Minister Li Jinzao said at an opening ceremony for SCO Business Day held at the ongoing second China-Eurasia Expo in northwest China’s Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region.
Li said the “inconvenience costs” of trade are three to four times higher than the cost of tariffs for international trade, quoting a recent survey conducted by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization.
“The inconvenience costs have greatly increased costs for enterprises in SCO member states,” Li said.
“When we are talking about the resistance of tariff barriers and protectionism in trade, we should also talk about how to make our trade and investment easier,” he added.
The ceremony, attended by ministerial officials and deputies from multiple SCO member states, was followed by discussions on topics ranging from the entry of SCO member states into the World Trade Organization to the development of logistics in the region.
The SCO, which was founded in Shanghai in 2001, currently has six full members, including China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.
Its Beijing summit in June saw the member states ink a strategic plan for the medium-term development of the organization and an agreement to further cooperation in multiple fields.
SCO Secretary-General Muratbek Imanaliev said at the opening ceremony that the medium-term development plan prioritizes economic cooperation as one of its development goals.
SCO members should plan and implement cooperation in a number of sectors, including trade, science, agriculture and tourism, he said.
The six-day China-Eurasia Expo officially opened on Sunday and has attracted participants from 55 countries and regions.