The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, of which India is a member, organised a Eurasian Economic Forum in Xi’an city of China on Tuesday, pushing for greater cooperation in the spheres of communication, technology and development.
India did not register its presence at the Eurasian Economic Forum, with sources in the Indian government telling The Indian Express, “There was no participation. The organisers have been conveyed the reasons as well.” A diplomat from the Chinese side said that they had made attempts to reach out to India, but had received no response. “The entire event is foreshadowed by the Belt and Road Initiative. With India’s position on it, their lack of attendance is not surprising.”
Vladimir Smolov, the Secretary General of the SCO said in his keynote address,” It is a great honor for me to take part in the Forum in Xi’an, which is called upon to promote the revival of the ancient Great Silk Road in Eurasia in a new, modern format. As everyone knows, it was from here, from the ancient city of Changan, that the Great Silk Road began. Today, the situation in the world economy, despite positive developments, remains unstable, the process of economic globalisation is faced with the growth of unilateral protectionist measures and other challenges in international trade. In this broad international context, the Eurasian Economic Forum over the past years has become an important platform for finding new breakthrough development models and expanding mutually beneficial cooperation in all areas.”
He said that experts agree that the Eurasian macro economic region will become a powerful locomotive of the global economy. “The SCO countries, being at the epicenter of this region, consider improving the architecture of global economic governance and the consistent strengthening of the multilateral trading system based on the rules of the World Trade Organization (WTO) among their main priorities,” he said.
He added, the majority of leaders state that, “The comprehensive interaction within the framework of the large-scale initiative of the President of China Xi Jinping, “One Belt, One Road”, is called upon to unite the efforts of the states of the three continents in ensuring stable and sustainable development.”
There were multiple forums during the day including economics and tourism. At the tourism panel speakers pushed the idea of the SCO member states “Eight Wonders Exhibition Tour”, with one historical monument or place corresponding to each member country being represented on the pamphlet. While for Kazakhstan it was the Petroglyphs of Tamgaly, for China it was the Daming Palace of the Tang dynasty, built in AD 634. For India, the monument chosen was the 182 metre Statue Of Unity of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, inaugurated on October 31, 2018.
The reporter was part of a media delegation from 18 countries invited to China by SCO