Exploring SCO Economic and Trade Potential and Raising Confidence in Global Economy--Observation on SCO Expo
2021 SCO International Investment and Trade Expo, held in Jiaozhou, Shandong, attracted 442 companies from home and abroad to participate and exhibit offline, as well as diplomats from various countries to China, representatives of international organizations including SCO Secretariat, ASEAN-China Center, etc. Relevant sources pointed out that China-SCO Local Economic and Trade Cooperation Demonstration Area strongly promotes SCO local economic and trade cooperation. This year marks the 20th anniversary of the founding of SCO, and provides perfect timing for deepening regional economic cooperation, thus injecting new vitality to the world economy facing instability and rising uncertainty.
Exhibitors from Various Countries Sought SCO Opportunities
Russian bread, Turkish porcelain, Pakistani jade carving, Iranian saffron, Afghanistani hand-made tapestry... Walking into SCO Expo, the dazzling collection of specialty products from SCO countries kept one's eyes busy.
In the hall of Cambodia, there were specialty products such as fragrant rice, brown sugar, pepper and mango. "Good wine also needs advertising," Qin Bing, an exhibitor in Cambodian hall said, "there are many high-quality specialty products in Cambodia that are scarcely known by consumers. We would like to take the opportunity of this SCO Expo to introduce more Cambodian products to the consumers and traders from SCO countries.
The total exhibition area of the SCO Expo was 21,000 m2, attracting 442 companies to exhibit offline, and over 1,400 companies to exhibit online. Main exhibits included new energy, food, agriculture, machinery, and electronic products.
SCODA Becomes Gateway for SCO Countries
Jiaozhou, where this SCO Expo was held, was promoting the building of China-SCO Local Economic and Trade Cooperation Demonstration Area, expanding international logistics, modern trade, mutual investment cooperation, business, tourism and culture exchanges, so as to enhance the connectivity between China and SCO countries.
Liu Jianjun, Secretary of the Party Working Committee and Director General of the Administrative Committee of the SCODA introduced that the SCODA had run 20 regular international and domestic trains. In 2020, they ran over 400 Eurasian freight trains, up by 15.9%, and handled 765,000 TEUs of containers, up by 14%.
It's introduced that SCODA Qingdao Multimodal Transportation Center is directly connected to Qingdao Port through Jiaohuang Railway Circulatory Train. Goods from SCO countries transported to the multimodal transportation center through Central Asian trains and Central Europe trains are as good as arriving at Qingdao Port. The goods could be transferred to sea transport at the port and sent directly to Japan, South Korea, etc. The SCODA has become an important gateway for SCO countries.
"Qilu" Eurasian Freight Train SCO Express opened in April, 2020 at the SCODA, with the SCODA Qingdao Multimodal Transport Center as a cargo dispatch center, where goods could be transported abroad in whole train-loads, without rearranging at any port, and directly sent to the main logistics pivot cities of SCO countries. Currently, SCO Express had 11 international routes, covering over 30 cities in 5 SCO member states and 3 observer states. Compared to regular trains, it could save transport time by 10% to 15%, and transport cost by 7% to 10%.
Li Kuiwen, spokesman, head of the statistics analysis department of the General Administration of Customs of China, introduced that, in recent years, trade between China and SCO member states became closer. China's total trade volume to SCO member states grew from 17.14 billion USD in 2001 to 244.85 billion USD in 2020, with an average annual growth rate of 15%.
Looking forward to Deepening Economic and Trade Cooperation and Raising Confidence in Global Economy
Norov said, SCO, a tremendous consumer market, covers nearly half of the global population and boasts abundant natural resources and strong productivity. The economic strength and cooperation potential of SCO member states were yet to be tapped and could yield a bigger contribution to the development of the region and the member states.
"We stand ready to work closely with SCO countries, focus on the post-pandemic era, propose an SCO Plan for global digital governance, smart city building, digitalization of public health system, and cybersecurity, etc., and create a layout of "greater customs, greater logistics, and greater economic and trade", so as to inject new momentum for the recovery and growth of world economy," said Zhang Shaogang, Vice Chairman of China Council for the Promotion of International Trade.
Relevant persons called on SCO countries to carry out international logistics and trade cooperation, promote the development of the modern logistics industry, build multimodal transport, and expedite the building of green channel for the cargo of SCO countries. They also called for strengthening the free flow of commodities, capital, services and technologies, innovate new models of interaction and cooperation, and create beneficial conditions for SCO local economic and trade and investment cooperation.