FM Bilawal Bhutto highlights Pakistan’s potential as trans-shipment and trade hub for SCO member countries

By Shafqat Ali | Gwadar Pro Jul 23, 2022

ISLAMABAD, July 23 (Gwadar Pro) - Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari highlighted Pakistan’s potential as a trans-shipment and trade hub for Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) member countries and reiterated Pakistan’s keenness to play an active and constructive role in further strengthening SCO.

In a meeting with SCO Secretary General Ambassador Zhang Ming here, the Foreign Minister reaffirmed Pakistan’s commitment to the purposes and principles of the SCO Charter and the ‘Shanghai Spirit.’ He assured the Secretary General of Pakistan’s active support in taking forward SCO’s development cooperation agenda. 

The Foreign Minister emphasized the enormous potential of the SCO region and stated that it was a collective responsibility to work together in harnessing this potential effectively for the sustained progress and prosperity of the SCO region as a whole. 

While discussing the comprehensive and diverse socio-economic cooperation matrix of SCO, the Foreign Minister underlined Pakistan’s interest in key priority areas of connectivity and transport, food security, innovation and technology exchange, trade and economy including e-commerce, start-ups, digital literacy and youth empowerment. 

Views were exchanged on the modernization of working mechanisms of SCO as well as further expansion of the Organization, which was a testimony to its growing stature as a major multilateral platform.

The Foreign Minister reassured the Secretary General that Pakistan would be supportive of the reform process. Sharing his perspective on the situation in Afghanistan, the Foreign Minister underscored the need to maintain constructive engagement and practical cooperation to promote the shared goals of peace, stability, development and regional connectivity. 

“SCO strives to promote multi-faceted and comprehensive cooperation in diverse areas,” he stated. 

The visit of the SCO Secretary General to Pakistan was part of customary visits to member states after assumption of office. It was aimed at exchanging views with the leadership on the strategic direction of the Organization in future, as well as Pakistan’s priorities in the SCO development cooperation framework. 

The visit provided a valuable opportunity for consultations on Pakistan’s role and participation in SCO, especially in the run up to the SCO Council of Foreign Ministers (CFM) later this month in Tashkentand the Council of Heads of States (CHS) meeting in Samarkand in September 2022.

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