Speaking during the inaugural plenary of thec, the flagship annual event of SDPI, H.E. Vladimir Norov, Secretary-General, SCO, lamented that because of disruptions caused by COVID19 in the supply and production chain, small and medium companies have gone bankrupt resulting in an increase in the number of poor people around the world including the SCO countries. However, despite negative consequences, COVID has brought new opportunities for the world such as it has accelerated the process of digital transformations in virtually all sectors of social and economic life. Therefore, global online retail sales are increasing, and additional jobs are being created.
Moreover, he emphasized that for small and medium-sized businesses, there are convenient options for engaging in cross border E-Commerce. As cross border E-Commerce and the digital economy will play a crucial role in rebuilding the global economy after COVID-19.
While discussing the SCO summit held in November, member states emphasized that for improved multilateral trade and economic contributions, digitization and introduction of high technologies in trade and production industries is important. Also, last year in June, the concept of cooperation of SCO member states in the field of digitization and ICT was adopted.
Highlighting the SCO transit and railway projects, the Secretary-General said that the Hairaton-Mazar-e-Sharif railway, and the project Mazar-e-Shareef-Peshawar roads, will provide a new trans-regional corridor and access to ports in Pakistan, Iran, and India.
He further added that during the SCO Summit, held in November 2020, the Heads of the Member States focused on the implementation of the action plan within the framework of the SCO Development Strategy 2025, which will help in the recovery of economists from the COVID-19 pandemic. Besides, the Concept of Cooperation for Development of Remote and Rural Areas in the Digital Age and the Comprehensive Plan of Joint Measures to Counteract the threats of Epidemics in the Region were also adopted.
Lastly, Mr. Norov mentioned the significance of the SCO Digital Economy forum, which was proposed by the Chinese President Xi last year for the purpose to enhance cooperation in the field of the digital economy.