SCO Demonstration Area Holds Seminar on Innovative Development
On September 24, the Seminar on Innovative Development for the SCO Demonstration Area was held at Jiaozhou Conference Center. At this conference, experts and scholars from the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation under the Ministry of Commerce, Research Center of the General Administration of Customs, China International Engineering Consulting Corporation, China Development Institute and several other institutions and organizations reported their research outcomes targeting at five topics: overall development planning for the China-SCO Local Economic and Trade Cooperation Demonstration Area (“SCO Demonstration Area”), strategic planning for the industrial development in the SCO Demonstration Area, economic and trade cooperation by country for SCO member states and countries along the Belt and Road, ways of reform and measures for trade facilitation of SCO and of countries along the Belt and Road, and directions and implementations for building modern logistics centers oriented toward SCO member states. The seminar focused on exchanges of ideas on the innovativeness, feasibility, and motivations of key research findings, with a list of policies proposed.
This May, aiming to build a new platform of international cooperation for “The Belt and Road Initiative” and earnestly promote the pattern of opening up that features links running eastward and westward and links across land and over sea, the SCO Demonstration Area has built relationships with authorities responsible for functional orientation and closely associated with key missions of the demonstration area, carrying out researches on a list of topics such as development planning for the SCO Demonstration Area, ways of reform and measures for trade facilitation of SCO and of countries along the Belt and Road, etc. Fruitful results have now been achieved about those topics through close communication, in-depth discussions, and field investigations, helping to pinpoint ways to break through policy bottlenecks and create practical guidance.
This one-day Seminar on Innovative Development for the SCO Demonstration Area is technically a top-end “brainstorming”. In the context of “greater circulation” and “dual circulation”, the various experts and scholars performed comprehensive analysis for the implementation of high-quality development in the SCO Demonstration Area by combining the macroscopic with the microscopic and integrating theory with practice in such areas as background of the SCO Demonstration Area, strategic significance, industrial planning, functional orientation, policy system, etc. The research findings have been proven highly innovative and feasible, and extremely valuable. According to the overall development planning for the SCO Demonstration Area, the SCO Demonstration Area will formulate and promulgate innovation policies in such aspects as investment, fiscal policy and taxation, commerce and trade, import and export, finance, technological research and development, etc., building a policy system characteristic of the regional economic and trade cooperation for the SCO member states. The policies would include investment access policy for SCO member states, policies supporting key projects and resource clustering along the Yellow River Economic Belts and the Shandong Peninsula Economic Belts, etc. Through the economic and trade cooperation with SCO member states and countries along the Belt and Road, the SCO Demonstration Area will promote differentiated economic and trade cooperation by country. In this regard the cooperation will shift from energy and mineral resources to several other sectors such as agriculture, manufacture, high and new technology, service, etc. for countries with relatively higher potential including Russia, Belarus, and Ukraine. Economic and trade exchanges with those countries concerned would be strengthened by ways of interaction between campuses, scientific and technological cooperation, bilateral investment, and services trade; once replicable, such pattern could be further promoted.
At the seminar, Hu Zheng, Chief Expert on Innovative Development Research with CDI and former CEO of the China-Belarus Industrial Park, presented a keynote speech, analyzing in depth the necessity and significance for the regional economic cooperation with SCO member states in areas such as present situation of the cooperation among SCO member states and the trends in China for international economic cooperation and highlighting the implications toward international cooperation for Qingdao to build the SCO Demonstration Area.
“The seminar has attracted a lot more talents for expanding the economic and trade development with SCO member states and for promoting interconnectivity and financing. The SCO Demonstration Area will treat an innovative policy system as the "ground zero", deepening the strategic cooperation with think tanks, building new patterns of cooperation, and creating a diversified platform of cooperation.” said Meng Qingsheng, Deputy Director of the Administrative Committee, SCO Demonstration Area.
It is learned that, focusing on the “Five Centers”, the SCO Demonstration Area will strengthen innovation in policy and expand international cooperation, eventually building up an International Logistics Center for interconnectivity, a Modern Trade Center for mutual benefit and reciprocity, a Bilateral Investment Center for mutual promotion, a Business Travel and Cultural Exchange Center for mutual learning, and a future-proof Marine Cooperation Center. At present, the SCO Multimodal Transport Center has launched 17 regular international and domestic railway lines, and has added a “Qilu Japan and South Korea Land-sea Express”. The “SCO Express”, first opened on April 27 this year, would influence such countries as Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Belarus, Afghanistan, etc. 233 trains have been dispatched in total for the “Qilu Eurasian Line” from January to August, with a year-on-year growth rate of 5.4%. Since the beginning of this year, the SCO Demonstration Area has been holding online dialogues with ambassadors in China from 14 countries including Russia, Kyrgyzstan, and Nepal, closing more than 50 deals on such matters as investment and trade cooperation, featured products marketing, and cooperation between chambers of commerce and associations.