Shenghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO)

Shenghai Cooperation OrganisationThe 21st Meeting of SCO Council of Heads of Government (CHG) was held on 01 November 2022 in the virtual format. The SCO CHG meeting held annually focuses on the trade and economic agenda of the Organization and approves its annual budget.

Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO)

SCO is a permanent intergovernmental international oraganisation, created in June 2001 in Shanghai (China).

                Founding members included Kazakhstan, China, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan.

                This organization represents approximately 42% of the world’s population, 22% of its land area and 20% of its GDP.

                SCO comprised eight member states, namely India, Kazakhstan, China, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan. In the 2021 summit held in Dushanbe, members decided to include Iran as a full member.


Before 2021, Shenghai Cooperation Organisation  (SCO) had four observer states. This included – Afghanistan, Belarus, Iran and Mongolia.

                In 2021, Iran becomes a full member and Saudi Arabic, Egypt and Qatar were added as new observer states. Hence currently, SCO has 6 observer states namely: Afghanistan, Belarus, Mongolia, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Qatar.


India’s stand at the meeting

1.    On connectivity project in the SCO region: Connectivity projects in the SCO region should focus on the interests of Central Asian states and respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of countries, India said better Connectivity will unlock the economic potential of SCO region.

       In this context, Iran’s Chabahar port and there are plans to integrate the strategic port with INSTC. The port has also played a key role in the trans-shipment of goods from Russia to India following the start of Ukraine war.

2.    India did not support China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI): India was the only SCO member state that did not reaffirm support for China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) in a joint communiqué issue after the meeting.

       Other countries reaffirmed their support for China’s BRI and to work jointly to implement the project India has for long opposed the BRI because a key part of it – the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) – passes through Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.

3.    On trade with SCO members: India EAM said that our total trade with SCO Members in only $141 billion, which has potential to increase manifold. The bulk of India’s trade with SCO countries is with China, which crossed $100 billion this year.

         Fair market access is to our mutual benefit and only way to move forward.

         He also reiterated India’s commitment to deepen multilateral cooperation in areas such as food and energy security, climate change and trade.

4.    On Mission LIFE (Lifestyle For Environment): EAM also spoke about Mission LIFE launched by PM Modi, which envisions replacing the prevalent ‘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 SCO member states on countering the food crisis.

5.    On India’s ongoing chairship of the SCO: India assumed the Chairmanship of the grouping following the summit held in Uzbekistan.

         The 22nd Meeting of the Council of Heads of State of the SCO was held in Uzbekistan in September 2022. India will host the next SCO summit (Meeting of Council of Heads of State) as a chairman of the organization in 2023.

         The was the first meeting of the SCO since India took over the bloc’s rotating presidency. The Current meeting, hosted by China, was the meeting of SCO Council of Heads of Government.

SCO Meeting 2022

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