ISLAMABAD, May 17 (APP): Amassador of Uzbakistan to Pakistan Aybek Arif Usmanov on Tuesday said the role of Pakistan and Uzbekistan in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) is of paramount importance and is a milestone in regional and global economic integration.
Uzbekistan is at the center of Central Asian countries and Pakistan has its own geostrategic importance which can play a significant role in its economic and trade integration in the SCO, he said.
He said this while addressing the Senior Journalist and Editor session organized local think tank COPAIR Ms. Amna Malik along with chairperson COPAIR and Editor Pakistan in the World Tazeen Akhtar here.
The ambassador said that Uzbekistan as the chair of Shanghai Cooperation Organization, is hosting the 2022 annual summit of the SCO Heads of State Council on September 15-16 in Samarkand.
He said that this annual summit would be attended by the Heads of State and Foreign Ministers of all the member countries and economic, trade and political cooperation among the member countries would be discussed.
He said that the SCO summit would have a total of 80 sessions in which 40 sessions would be of foreign ministers in which delegations of member countries would discuss issues of mutual interest.
He said that regional to regional cooperation would be discussed at the SCO summit which would be helpful in mutual cooperation among the member countries. Central Asian countries also have a policy of regional cooperation which can enhance bilateral relations, the ambassador said .
He said that SCO member countries have huge economic powers which can play their full role in economic and trade cooperation between the countries. Responding to a question, he said that the SCO summit would seek new economic drivers for the promotion of economic and trade cooperation among the member countries in which technology and innovation are very important.
The envoy said that the use of information technology and modern technology in new dimensions is very important which will be discussed at the summit for its promotion. On this occasion, he said that there is an agreement on transit trade between Pakistan and Uzbekistan signed, which needs time to be implemented.
In addition, rail, air and road connectivity are crucial for the development of economic relations. In response to a question, he said that the foundation of economic relations between Pakistan and Uzbekistan was laid by former Prime Minister, Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif.
In the past, bilateral trade was only $20 million, which has now reached $185 million in 2021. He said that Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) has been signed between Pakistan and Uzbekistan, which will increase bilateral trade.
He said that agreements have been signed between the provinces and cities of Pakistan and Uzbekistan on mutual cooperation.
He said the SCO meeting will also discuss bilateral trade cooperation and the promotion of Small and Mudium Enterrises ( SMEs). On this occasion, Amna Malik said that economic relations in SCO member countries are very important which will help in economic integration in these countries.
She said that the role of Pakistan and Central Asian countries, especially Uzbekistan, in the economic prosperity of the region is of utmost importance. Speaking on the occasion, senior journalist and Editor Pakistan in the World Tazeen Akhtar said that SCO is the second largest organization in the world after UNO which has a very important role to play. The SCO Summit in Uzbekistan is of utmost importance, he said.