Annotation. The article provides the analysis of fifteen years of activities of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization in the sphere of ensuring regional security, trade and economic, transit and transport, and energy cooperation. It also shows the results and possibilities of the SCO development in the context of new challenges and threats.
The prospects for expansion of the Organization thanks to the admission of India, Pakistan, and in the future, Iran, as fully fledged members are reviewed. The possibilities for participation of these countries, state members and the region in general in implementations of joint trade, economic and infrastructure projects are provided, as well as the prospects for the interface between the projects of the SCO and Eurasian economic union (EEU) and Economic Belt of the Silk Way (EBSW). The benefits and possibilities for forming of the energy security system are shown, along with the construction of new main transport and energy corridors to the countries of the region and the state of the Southern Asia.
The characteristics were given for the results of the SCO activities confronting security threats, cross-border crimes, first of all, a drug trafficking, extremism, terrorism and separatism. The potential of the SCO participation in a multilateral format of cooperation in interaction with a number of the regional and international organizations was recognized.
The article presents the SCO’s activities in the field of optimal combination within national economic interests and the interests of the Organization, creation of mechanisms for financial maintenance of the project activities and solving the existing difficulties, which reduce efficiency of economic cooperation. It displays the factors for further strengthening of economic presence in Central Asia by the People's Republic of China through implementation of infrastructure and energy projects.
For rather short historical period, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization’s (SCO) transformation into consolidation of subcontinental nature, authoritative international multidisciplinary organization on ensuring regional security, trade, economic and energy cooperation has occurred, that considerably increases its efficiency in counteraction to the main challenges and threats, and increases stability of the State Parties.
In 15 years, the space of the SCO, thanks to the efforts of six states founders - Kazakhstan, China, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, increased three times, having united 18 State Parties - from the Central and the Southern Asia to the Persian Gulf and Eastern Europe - in which about 45% of the world population lives. Among them - India and Pakistan, which submitted applications for the admission as fully fledged members; Mongolia, Iran, Belarus, Afghanistan have the status of observers; Azerbaijan, Armenia, Cambodia, Nepal, Turkey, Sri Lanka are the partners in dialogue. There are also countries which submitted the application for participation in the SCO as the states observers - Bangladesh, Syria, Egypt, and fixed participants of the SCO summits - Turkmenistan, the USA, the CIS, an ASEAN, the UN, and EurAsEC.
The SCO’s capability to assist sovereign participants in interfacing their positions and approaches concerning actual international problems and regional tasks, to concentrate efforts on common goals according to the principles of voluntary and equal cooperation makes it the object of close attention in the international community.
Approval for a packet of documents on receipt of the SCO state member status became an important step, which turned out to be a serious boundary for renewal of expansion process for the Organization.
Membership in the SCO for India and Pakistan, the states with the population of 1,5 billion people, shall increase considerably the international weight of the Organization, strengthen regional security, increase economic and antiterrorist potential, and also play a constructive role and in respect of improvement of the bilateral relations between these two countries. Moreover, accession to the Organization of these countries turns the SCO into "nuclear club" as a part of four nuclear powers. According to analysts, this event has an enormous value for the international relations which changes a geopolitical alignment of forces - "a milestone on the way from unipolar to multipolar world".
The successful completion of negotiations on the nuclear program of Iran and lifting the sanctions of the UN Security Council will allow Iran, which earlier submitted the application for the introduction, to become an organization member.
The SCO’s support of Iran was declared earlier, in 2005, with provision to this country of the observer status, and also in 2013, with adoption of the final declaration, in which it was confirmed that member countries consider unacceptable threats of military force use and unilateral sanctions measures of the certain states against IRI. Moreover, it was declared about determination to see Iran as the active participant of joint economic projects.
Expansion of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), for the last some weeks, became the most discussed question of regional policy. The organization which unites the most part of the Eurasian continent, after expansion of the permanent members due to Pakistan and India, will turn into one of the largest and influential associations in the world.
The full participation of India and Pakistan in the SCO will give them opportunities for participation in regional trade, economic and infrastructure projects. Development of individual interface of the interests with the projects within "New Silk Way", will provide Islamabad and Delhi with an access to the financial resources allocated for implementation of this concept. In regional aspect, economic interaction of the Central Asia’s states with India and Pakistan will have a positive impact on all parties of cooperation and further can accelerate implementation of such projects as TAPI and CASA 1000.
The membership in the SCO format will strengthen the potential of India and Pakistan in opposition to security treats, cross-border crime, first of all, to a drug trafficking, extremism, terrorism and separatism, as well as will allow the mechanism for resolving of the Kashmir conflict to be worked out. Moreover, both countries can act as initiators of a number of regional initiatives on security, first of all, on the Afghan direction that can promote stabilization process.
Despite the positive moments, it is necessary to take into account that the accession to the SCO by India and Pakistan contains certain risks for its participants. Since the moment of requesting the accession in 2006, there has been an opinion in the SCO that acceptance of new members, India and Pakistan, can break balance of forces in the Organization and beyond its borders, it may become one of the obstacles in organization development, make it unhandy and low-maneuverable. Indeed, availability of India’s territorial disputes with China because of Arunachal Pradesh State, and with Pakistan because of Jammu and Kashmir State, being under control of China and Pakistan, can introduce new conflict potential in the Shanghai club.
Iran, represented today only in OES, is interested in the fastest acquisition of complete membership in the SCO. Participation in the SCO satisfies the expectation of Iran’s regional policy, above all, as possibility for a way out of political isolation and achievement of the most profit on legal status of the Caspian Sea. In the field of security Iran may learn from the experience in combating Afghan drug traffic.
Today the economic potential of the Organization with GDP total volume in 2015 over 21 trillion US dollars, GDP total volume on PPS 37 trillion US dollars concentrates one third of world GDP and nearly a half of a world goods turnover.
The anniversary summit of the SCO in 2016 will take place against a difficult situation in the world. In the conditions of a new polycentric model of the world order formation the global competition, often unfair and aggressive, as well as rivalries in the sphere of valuable reference points and models of development, have being strengthened.
At the end of the first decade of the XXI century such challenge as "all-civilization crisis" became reality, when there are, at the same time, signs of the production, energy, ecological, food, social, interreligious and militarypolitical crises, deepened by the Syrian crisis, the military conflicts in the Middle East, an aggravation of the Azerbaijani-Armenian conflict in the Nagorny Karabakh, a threat from the international terrorist organizations..
In the face of new challenges, such as the world financial and economic crisis, sharp recession of world oil prices, which had significant impact on deterioration of an economic situation in oil exporting countries, among which there are Russia and Kazakhstan, the West’s sanctions policy for Russia, economic slowdown in China, devaluation of national currencies in member countries, such factor as expansion of participants and partners of the SCO gives a new impulse to development and increases stability and probability of further extrapolation of the SCO impact on the processes happening on a global scale.
It should be noted that the SCO has experiment in fighting against world crisis of 2009, which was acquired during implementation of a joint initiative of the heads of governments from the SCO member countries on activation of multilateral economic cooperation on overcoming the consequences of world financial and economic crisis and ensuring further development for economies of the state members.
Today, the SCO’s main achievement is representation of the most successful embodiment of the Eurasian idea – creation of Big Eurasia, representing one of "three whales" to the Eurasian integration along with Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) and Economic Belt of the Silk Way (EBSW).
When China has declared the policy of the Economic Belt of the Silk Way or One Belt – One Way (OBOW) – intensive economic and logistic development of regions to the southwest and to the West from the People's Republic of China and in the long term, with involvement of Europe, for creation of a belt of stability and economic development, and at the same time, the new markets and friendly powers, it had been met with adequate support from the SCO.
The support of an initiative for joint construction of the Economic Belt of the Silk Way had found reflection in the Joint statement on the regional economic interaction adopted by the Council of the heads of governments from the SCO state members on December 15, 2015 in Zhengzhou. The document on coordination over the actions of the state members was also accepted concerning integration of the SCO’s interface to EEU and EBSW for the purpose of building-up the multilateral interaction in the spheres of logistics, transport, power, high technologies, and agricultural industry. Thus, it should be noted, that Russia, which is actively supporting Eurasian Economic Union, considers the EBSW project as China’s attempt to strengthen the domination in the region and to weaken its communications with the states of Central Asia.
Cultivating a relationship, for many years, of the SCO with Eurasian economic community had prepared a good base for formalizing the relations with Eurasian Economic Union. The principal agreement had been reached upon the interface activities of SCO, EEU and the Chinese project of the Economic Belt of the Silk Way that provides ample opportunities for consolidation of efforts. So, on a meeting of the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council, the question about adjustment of trade and economic relations between the Eurasian Economic Union and the SCO was discussed.
Forming of a new Eurasian format of the SCO became an alternative response to the concept of Big Central Asia, developed in 2005, which main idea was a creation of Partnership on cooperation and development of Big Central Asia (PBCA), a regional forum on planning, coordination and implementation of the whole series of the USA’s programs.
The summits of the SCO which took place in recent years, and also the summits of the EEU and the CIS introduced amendments and clarity in the main directions of integration for these programs in order of deepening the cooperation on the Eurasian space.
Time has also shown the initiative of a new format of international cooperation of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and BRICS was appropriate, in consolidation of their efforts the SCO summit and BRIC (at that time this group, representing rapidly developing countries, included Brazil, Russia, India and China, and today this organization includes the Republic of South Africa as well), in 2009, in Yekaterinburg, the SCO summit and a meeting of leaders of the countries of BRICS in 2015 in Ufa were conducted. Activation of the RIK tripartite format within Russia, India and China represents the most organic form of interaction for the SCO as these three countries constitute frame of the Organization.
Strengthening of trade, economic and investment cooperation of the SCO is especially actual against the conclusion of Agreements on creation of the Transpacific trade and economic partnership (TTP) and Transatlantic commercial and investment partnership which many observers are inclined to consider as the antiChinese measure of the USA, directed on control over trade, economic and investment expansion of the People's Republic of China that will influence, in its turn, the member countries in general.
The forming of system for energy security, construction of new main transport and energy corridors to the countries of the region and the state of South Asia, indeed, can be called among the main achievements of the SCO during the period of its activities.
The turn for expansion of the SCO space through construction of logistic and transittransport communications with Europe and South Asia, objectively, is extremely profitable for Kazakhstan and other member countries in implementation of the joint regional projects. Interface of the SCO, EEU to EBSW promotes creation of the new economical and logistic center in Central Asia connecting these countries with Europe, South Asia, and, first of all, Iran, India, Pakistan.
It is possible to refer the launch of the Energy club to breakthrough projects of the SCO. It unites producers, consumers and transit countries of energy resources and is directed on increase of reliability in energy infrastructure and diversification of supply routes for energy resources.
Concentration of more than a third of all world production of energy resources within the SCO against an aggravation of an energy problem and strengthening of the rivalry between the world players for oil and gas resources of the region increases the international attention to the SCO.
It should be noted that since the moment of the statement for its creation in 2006 and in the course of its forming, the Energy Club has caused a certain concern for the West, in political and business community of which there were concerns on the anti-European orientation of the monopolized Energy Cartel and its transformation into gas OPEC.
Today, a close dialogue between the SCO with EAEU and BRICS creates favorable circumstances to start broad transcontinental cooperation. Connection of a horizontal transport artery of EEU-SCO and a vertical transport artery of BRICS is capable to cause growth of trade and to bring in the long term to general consolidation and general free economic zone on the Euroasian space.
Additional prospects for cooperation open in connection with the beginning of consultations with members of the SCO and Association of the countries of Southeast Asia (ASEAN) in EEU on the issue of possible economic partnership.
In the field of security, a serious source of threats in the region is caused by the Islamic State (IS), the largest radical terrorist organization created in 2006, which plans include expansion of its activities in Central Asia. Expansion of the SCO’s space at the expense of Pakistan and India, who have the same border with Afghanistan, increases vulnerability of common borders of the Organization. Threats from the Islamic State amplify, especially in the Pakistani Vaziristan which is practically controlled by "Taliban", in the Indian Kashmir and the Chinese Xinjiang-Uigur autonomous region.
According to UNSC, the main sources of IS financing is illegal trade of oil and other natural resources of occupied territories, plundering of archaeological sites, fees for the redemption of hostages and other illegal financial schemes. the components of IS activities are drug production, a transnational organized crime, illegal traffic in weapons, struggling with which demands search of collective answers and application of a maximum of efforts from such authoritative multilateral institutes as the SCO.
Increased activity of the Islamic State group served as one of the reasons for aggravation of the situation in Afghanistan which is on the advanced line of fight against these threats and is not capable to resist to them alone. Owing to this fact Afghanistan having the status of the country-observer is interested in a full membership as a part of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation.
A gradual forming of the international alliance of safety on the SCO basis is a positive dynamic, and it considerably increases regional stability.
The solution of the Afghan problem represents a long-term priority as the ensuring of regional security and stability which are, in turn, the compulsory provision of regional cooperation depends on the situation in this country.
The contact group "the SCO — Afghanistan" has been functioning within SCO since 2005, which allows to hold consultations on the Afghan perspective directly with official Afghan persons. The majority of the SCO state members support rendering the collective help to Afghanistan under the auspices of the UN.
In 2007 the SCO initiated carrying out the international conference on Afghanistan at the level of Ministers of Economic Affairs of the state members of the SCO for the purpose of specific recommendations, in particular, the strategy and the program of collateral actions on the fight against the Afghan drug traffic. The Afghan subject rises at each summit of the SCO.
In this regard activities of Regional anti-terrorist structure (RATS) as effective mechanism of ensuring coordination of joint response to the situations threatening stability and safety in the territory of the state members of the SCO deserve attention. Within fight against financing of terrorist and extremist activity, including, the Islamic state, due to drug trafficking, in structure of RATS the special working group which will deal with these issues at the regional level has been created.
In the area of the RATS state members of the SCO on a regular basis stage joint anti-terrorist exercises, the cooperative regulatory framework in fight against threats is enhanced, the Unified register of the persons involved in terrorist, extremist and separatist activities is updated.
Due to efforts of RATS there were prevented hundreds of acts of terrorism in the territory of state members, effective assistance in search and detention of the persons connected with terrorist activities is rendered to counteract distribution of extremist ideology.
In the field of fight against drug traffic the SCO countries work in the direction of summing up accomplishment of Anti-drug strategy for 2011-2016 and acceptances of new Antidrug strategy for 2017-2022, implementation of the Agreement on cooperation in fight against illicit trafficking in drugs, psychotropic substances and their precursors of 2004.
The activities this sphere were also conducted in cooperation with the UN Department on drugs and crime, the International committee on control over drugs, Central Asian Regional Information and Coordination Centre for Combating Illicit Trafficking of Narcotic Drugs (CARICC).
The SCO intensified interaction with the states observers, partners in dialogue and other interested countries on their active involvement in practical aspects of the Organization’s activity, especially, on such directions as RATS, exchange of information and training, a contribution to implementation of Anti-drug strategy of the SCO, and also connection to joint antiterrorist doctrines.
A basic expansion for benefit of a new quality of positioning and interaction with the international organizations became one of important qualities for the SCO.
In addition to BRICS and EAEU, the strong base for deepening of communications with other international organizations is acquired. Memorandums of interaction with the CSTO, the CIS, ASEAN, CICA actively function. Building-up of interaction with the UN has special value in the context of efforts on counteraction to global challenges. Possibility of interaction with the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) is also considered.
Accepted in 2010, the Mutual declaration about cooperation between the Secretariats of the SCO and the UN and the resolution A/ RES/65/124 of the United Nations General Assembly "About cooperation between the UN and the SCO" allow interaction with specialized agencies, the organizations, programs and funds of the UN system in interests of joint implementation of specific projects to be significantly strengthened.
State members will concentrate efforts on implementations of Global counterterrorist strategy of the UN, relevant to resolutions of the UN Security Council, provisions of the Convention of the SCO against terrorism, the Memorandum on interaction between RATS and Counter-terrorism committee of UNSC. There were established business contacts with OSCE, and also with the Regional center of preventive diplomacy for Central Asia.
Potential of cooperation with the UN is pledged in the field of implementation of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, about peaceful use of nuclear energy, strengthening of the mode of nuclear non-proliferation, increase of level of the regional and international security and a zone free from the nuclear weapon in Central Asia.
The questions of global safety are raised also by events in North Korea. The SCO considers unacceptable those threats which Democratic People's Republic of Korea sounds recently to the international community which was forced to react to a situation around Democratic People's Republic of Korea by adoption of relevant resolutions of the UN Security Council and strengthening of sanctions policy.
One more of the SCO areas of activity in the field of safety is the information sphere according to the Action plan on ensuring the international information security.
In modern conditions, an intensification of interaction between anti-terrorist structures of the SCO, the CSTO and the Anti-terrorist center CIS for the purpose of expansion of an exchange of operational and analytical information for ensuring regional security in Central Asia with collective efforts becomes important.
The situation on the SCO’s borders, especially after expansion, requires development of efficient regional mechanisms of safety and counteraction to external threats which for this day the member country could not create.
The newest stage of the SCO’s history is characterized by a number of new tendencies. For the 15-year period of the SCO there were arranged 28 formats of cooperation in various directions work. The Strategy of the SCO’s development till 2025 functions, which reflects philosophy of development and is a base of deeper interaction, unity, taking into account expansion of the Organization, the statement on the high-quality level of positioning in the region on new influences of permission of questions of the international agenda. Consolidation of debatable capacity of the SCO and the Astana economic forum, Petersburg economic forum and a number of the large authoritative discussion platforms operating in the Organization becomes more and more insistent command of time.
Since the moment of its creation the SCO has been in search of ways for an optimum combination of national economic interests with interests of the Organization and in general it has been occupied with the solution of the existing objective difficulties reducing the efficiency of economic cooperation of the Organization, among which there are uneven social and economic development of member countries; an unstable socio-political situation in some countries; mainly the bilateral nature of cooperation between participants without passing into a multilateral format; contradictions in the positions of state members of the SCO, mainly, in positions of China and Russia on further evolution of the organization; lack of full confidence between member countries.
Lack of full confidence leads to constant concern in different sectors of society in Russia and the countries of Central Asia about "the Chinese threat" - growth of the Chinese migration and economic activity of China in the countries of the region. And substantially this phenomenon is inflated by mass media and often this information campaign is skillfully warmed up by rivals of the SCO from abroad.
And for Kazakhstan such concerns aren't unreasonable, it is enough to remember an activation of protest disorders concerning land reform and sale of the land to foreigners, expansions of Chinese participation in development of oil and gas resources of Kazakhstan, and also not absolutely balanced structure of a goods turnover between two countries.
In the political plan, the Chinese party builds within the SCO multidimensional and mutually beneficial cooperation with the countries of the region for the purpose of ensuring long-term stability in the region and the Xinjiang-Uigur autonomous area (SUAR), and also stability of the relations between China and Central Asia.
In the region China plays more and more influential diplomatic role, giving significant financial support, both via mechanisms of the SCO, and on a bilateral basis, to those Central Asian states which do not have the considerable economic potential but which are important for Beijing from clearly strategic point of view in the region.
The situation in world and regional economy is conducive to sharp need for energy resources by China as the regional leader of growth, and the powerful production system. Thus, the management of China resolves directly two topical issues. On the one hand, the developing transport infrastructure will allow deliveries of energy carriers from Central Asia and Russia to increase. Other aspect is that this infrastructure will allow Celestial Empire to accelerate process of creation of a common economic space in the territory of the SCO and consequently extra additional markets in which the economy is in great need.
And, the Chinese party is also ready to enclose investments in highways and long distance railways both in Russia, and in the countries of Central Asia which could become an important component of future transport corridor to Europe. Many Chinese contracts are signed on a bilateral basis, smoothly passing into multilateral as the geography of action of contracts stretches beyond the limits of national borders. In particular it concerns projects on development of transport infrastructure which are mainly realized in the territory of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.
The construction of the highway "Western Europe – Western China", a railway corridor of "Kazakhstan-Turkmenistan-Iran-Persian Gulf", and also projects implementation of the railroads "China-Kyrgyzstan-Uzbekistan", "China-Kyrgyzstan-Tajikistan-Afghanistan-Iran", urged to connect Asia, Europe, the Caucasus and the countries of the Middle East, promotes transformation of Central Asia into a key link of world system of communications.
The SCO is considered for China not simply as opportunity to increase amount of the Chinese export, the Chinese party aims at complete development of economic space of the SCO through creation of the free trade area and the additional markets. The developing transport infrastructure allows the People's Republic of China to increase deliveries of energy carriers from Kazakhstan, the Central Asian republics.
In recent years the steady tendency of changes in all scheme of production and transportation of hydrocarbons in Central Asia for benefit of the Chinese and Asian directions is observed. In the majority these initiatives are aimed at the development of Central Asia. For these years the new system of oil and gas pipelines in the Chinese (Asian) direction has gained development, which includes the oil pipeline "Atasu- Alashankou", "Turkmenistan — Uzbekistan — Kazakhstan — China" gas pipeline.
In recent years the steady tendency of change of all scheme of production and transportation of hydrocarbons in Central Asia for benefit of the Chinese and Asian directions is observed. In the majority these initiatives are aimed at the development of Central Asia. For these years the new system oil and gas pipelines in the Chinese (Asian) direction which treat the oil pipeline "Atasu-Alashankou", "Turkmenistan — Uzbekistan — Kazakhstan — China" gas pipeline gained development.
Further strengthening of economic presence of the People's Republic of China in Central Asia will still go due to growth of finished goods deliveries, building-up of project and investment activity in raw industries, development of pipelines and thoroughfares. Today it is quite difficult to predict the remote consequences of strengthening in an economic and political impact of China in the region.
China’s aspiration to an intensification of economic cooperation in the countries of Central Asia through creation of the free economic zone (FEZ) as a long-term perspective, didn't meet today a consensus of member countries as this offer causes concerns of other member countries about a collapse of own markets and less effective, in comparison with China, productions. Also different level of development among member countries makes development of full-scale integration within the SCO impossible for today.
For the purpose of hiding from accusations in ideological and economic expansion, Beijing more and more purposefully implements the mechanisms of "the soft force" based on huge financial and material resources, offering developing countries the model of "the Chinese way of development".
According to experts of the SCO, overcoming of the existing difficulties requires carrying out a number of measures, such as enhancement of the mechanism of regional economic cooperation which shall consider liabilities of the countries in the WTO; reducing time of long and multi-stage coordination of the reached agreements between member countries; enhancement and harmonization of techniques of settlement in trade; protection of national and regional interests in the sphere of development of energy resources of the region.
Moreover, in overcoming of the existing contradictions the important role will be played by the solution of two questions, among which - creation of own financial structures for the problem resolution of fund shortage for projects implementation in member countries and enhancement of the currency mechanism of settlement.
It is remarkable that the basis of the SCO’s efficiency will be constituted in the near future by close interaction between the government and private institutions, the Business council and the Interbank Consortium serve as confirmation to that. Full-scale work of Business council requires development of recommendations about harmonization of legislations in member countries. Business council isn't limited to economy, and develops interaction in the fields of education, sciences, trainings, health care and tourism.
Creation of mechanisms for financial maintenance of project activity of the organization requires the solution of the problem concerning organization of the SCO Development bank based on Eurasian Development Bank which is successfully operating in the region. The capacity of synchronization of joint efforts on improvement of investment and financial climate within Asian bank of infrastructure investments and BRICS Development bank requires further consideration.
In medium-term prospect the main emphasis in work of the Organization will be put on an economic component of cooperation – regional cooperation, trade, investments, finance, banking activity; peaceful development of an atomic energy; addition of a bilateral cooperation by multilateral actions for ensuring energy security within the SCO; increase of gas and oil pipeline safety; protection of interests of producers and consumers; use of modern technologies in an energy; observance of natural and security measures; forming of the approved regulations and rules. The resolution of the cross-border rivers is also possible within the SCO. The solution of an issue on the draft agreement on creating favorable conditions for the international motor transportations is considered perspective.
In interface of the country’s positions in different fields of activity the process of the SCO is the powerful uniting factor. It is based on "the Shanghai spirit" which for a short interval of time turned into a symbol of new Eurasia, a symbol of development of inter-civilization and cross-cultural dialogue acts. In development of cooperation in the sphere of scientific researches the Forum of the SCO founded in Moscow in May, 2006 as the multilateral public advisory and expert mechanism on interaction of the research and politological centers of the
State Parties is urged to play an important role.
Among the performed projects in the humanitarian sphere there is creation of the SCO University for trainings on a wide range of specialties. On the agenda there is International research institute of political and economic development of the regions of the SCO based on the created expert Forum, carrying out annual sports and festivals of arts. The Day of the SCO within the Astana economic forum, panel sessions on subject of SCO within the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, youth, educational forums and other actions shall become traditional.
The SCO’s transition from mainly bilateral format to a multilateral format of interaction gives opportunities for full integration. Along with the presence of a political will and solution of actual collisions, the SCO is capable to pass rather dynamically all levels of economic integration from creation of free trade areas to forming of a common economic space. The acquired interaction mechanisms in political, economic, trade areas, and also in the field of safety, act as factors of development for economic integration. The beginning of real implementation of the Program of multilateral trade and economic cooperation, accomplishment of a number of large infrastructure projects under the auspices of the SCO and interface of these projects with the "Silk way" Economic belt will lay the foundation of practical Euroasian integration.
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