Expressing concern over the "turbulent and tense" situation in the world economy, leaders of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation said Friday the process of economic globalisation was hindered by the growing unilateral protectionist policies and other challenges in global trade. The leaders of the eight-member grouping stressed that the unilateral protectionist actions in violation of World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules and regulations undermined the multilateral trade system and threaten the world economy and trade.
Following a meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Heads of State Council here in the Kyrgyz capital, the leaders emphasised the need to develop cooperation in politics, security, trade and economy, and called for deepening of cultural and humanitarian ties. "The situation in global politics and economy remains turbulent and tense, and the process of economic globalisation is being hindered by the growing unilateral protectionist policies and other challenges in international trade," they said in the 'Bishkek Declaration'.
They stressed the importance of further improving the architecture of global economic governance, and deepening cooperation to build a transparent, predictable and stable environment for the development of trade, economic and investment cooperation through the consistent strengthening of the multilateral trading system based on the rules and regulations of the WTO, it said. The SCO is a Eurasian political, economic and security alliance. Its creation was of announced in June 2001 in Shanghai, China by the leaders of China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan.
The organisation expanded its membership to eight countries when India and Pakistan joined it as full members in June 2017 at a summit in Astana, Kazakhstan. The leaders emphasised on the need to boost multilateral trading system through opposition to the fragmentation of global trade and trade protectionism in all its forms.
"They believe that unilateral protectionist actions in violation of WTO rules and regulations undermine the multilateral trade system and threaten the world economy and trade," the statement said. "The Member States stress the importance of further deepening cooperation in order to bring forth an open world economy, consistently strengthen an open, inclusive, transparent, non-discriminatory and rule-based multilateral trading system, maintain the authority and effectiveness of WTO rules, and to prevent any unilateral protectionist actions in international and regional trade," it said.
The leaders recognised the significant potential for further developing mutual trade between the SCO Member States, based on the close geographic location. They affirmed their intention to continue cooperating with the aim of simplifying trade procedures between the countries.
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