External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar represented India at the SCO Council of Heads of Government meeting on Tuesday and underlined the need for better connectivity to unlock the economic potential. The 21st Meeting of the SCO Council of Heads of Government (CHG) was held on in a virtual format. The SCO CHG meeting focused on the trade and economic agenda of the Organization.
“Represented India at the meeting of SCO Council of Heads of Government which has just concluded. Underlined that we need better connectivity in the SCO region built on centrality of interests of Central Asian states,” Jaishankar tweeted.
The external affairs minister said Chabahar port and the International North-South Transport Corridor could help improve connectivity and fulfilment of economic potential in the region.
“Will unlock the economic potential of this region in which Chabahar port and the International North-South Transport Corridor could become enablers. Connectivity projects should respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Member States and respect international law,” he added.
Jaishankar spoke of Mission LiFE launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi which envisions replacing the prevelant ‘use and dispose’ economy, by a circular economy.
He highlighted that in 2023, the UN International Year of Millets, India intends to foster greater cooperation with the SCO Member States on countering the food crisis.
“Our total trade with SCO Members is only USD 141 billion, which has potential to increase manifold. Fair market access is to our mutual benefit and the only way to move forward,” the minister said in another tweet.
Jaishankar appreciated the condolences expressed at the loss of lives in the Morbi tragedy. “Look forward to India’s ongoing chairship of the SCO,” he added.
India remains actively engaged in various SCO activities and dialogue mechanisms in the region as well as other multilateral cooperation within the SCO framework. The leaders of the SCO member states met last month for the summit meeting at Samarkand in Uzbekistan on September 16.
The meeting, in which Prime Minister Narendra Modi participated, adopted Samarkand Declaration. The member states also called for the improvement of the SCO activities, and the development of efficient transport corridors for interconnectivity.