New Delhi: Commerce and industry minister Piyush Goyal on Wednesday said that the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) countries should explore partnerships that enhance trade and investment in the region during the Covid-19 pandemic and that cooperation would be critical in ensuring the speedy recovery from the aftermath of the pandemic.

SCO members include India, China, Russia, Pakistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.

“Attended the 19th Shanghai Cooperation Organisation meeting & called upon member countries to explore partnerships to enhance trade & investment in the region. Also, reinforced the need for greater cooperation in intellectual property, access to medicines & growth of MSMEs,” Goyal said in a tweet.

At the nineteenth meeting of the SCO Ministers responsible for Foreign Economy and Foreign Trade Activities, which India hosted, the members adopted statements that reinforce the need for greater cooperation for access to medicines and facilitation of trade (Statement on the response to Covid-19) , and importance of the rules based multilateral negotiations.

Besides, statements on cooperation of intellectual property and include sharing information/experience on legislation and enforcement, cooperation in international organisations and other areas, along with an action plan for Implementation of a Memorandum of Understanding to stimulate cooperation within the framework of SCO in the field of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME).

A document on cooperation among MSMEs, including exchange of information, organisation of events and collaboration on research and capacity building were also adopted, the commerce and industry ministry said.

In his concluding remarks, Goyal emphasised that all these outcomes of the meeting are very important milestones for the SCO solidarity.

As per an official release, the virtual meeting was attended by the Secretary General of SCO and Ministers from Kyrgyz Republic, Kazakhstan, Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.

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