To build China-SCO Local Economic and Trade Cooperation Demonstration Area into new platform for international cooperation

BEIJING, July 5, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — A report from People’s Daily: On June 10, 2018, Chinese President Xi Jinping delivered a speech at the 18th Meeting of the Council of Heads of Member States of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) in Qingdao, east China’s Shandong province, during which he announced that the Chinese government supports building a demonstration area in Qingdao for China-SCO local economic and trade cooperation.

Six years on, the China-SCO Local Economic and Trade Cooperation Demonstration Area (SCODA) has grown into a center for international logistics, modern trade, two-way investment cooperation, and commercial, tourism and cultural exchanges, while boosting the development of the China-SCO Institute of Economy and Trade. These efforts have injected new impetus into practical cooperation among SCO countries.

In 2019, shortly after China announced the establishment of the SCODA, Russian merchant Svetlana set up a trading company there.

As the Qingdao SCODA Pearl International Expo Center started official operation in 2022, she began to manage the center’s Russian pavilion.

“The attractiveness of China’s policies and the inclusiveness of the Chinese market provide a favorable environment for us to explore opportunities and develop together with the SCODA,” said Svetlana.

Over the past five years, the SCODA’s total foreign trade volume with SCO countries has reached 21.34 billion yuan ($2.94 billion), with an average annual growth of 70 percent.

The SCODA has been actively expanding industrial cooperation with SCO countries and Belt and Road partner countries, primarily focusing on key areas such as industrial internet and high-end equipment manufacturing. It has attracted over 130 projects with a total investment of over 270 billion yuan.

For instance, China’s home appliance giant Haier Group has developed COSMOPlat, its first industrial internet platform, and established the Haier COSMOPlat Industrial Internet Ecopark within the SCODA. Besides, the Shanghai Electric Wind Power Equipment Industrial Park and the Aerospace Industrial Park have been inaugurated in the demonstration area.

So far, the SCODA has hosted more than 400 international events, including the Second Belt and Road Energy Ministerial Conference, and the first China + Central Asia industry and investment cooperation forum.

Zhang Ming, secretary-general of the SCO, noted that the SCODA has been committed to opening up, effectively promoting cooperation among SCO countries.

In November 2022, a comprehensive platform that offers one-stop services for local economic and trade cooperation between China and other SCO countries went online.

According to Chi Yongxin, an official with the SCODA Administrative Committee, this platform was pioneered by the SCODA, which is among the four specialized services offered by the China International Trade Single Window. It has gathered around 14,000 enterprises, handling over 11,000 customs declaration forms with a total value exceeding 100 billion yuan.

In July 2018, the multimodal transport center of the SCODA was officially put into operation, establishing an integrated logistics system that covers sea, land, air and land ports, and railway transportation.

The center has facilitated trade between China and other SCO countries. For example, more agricultural products and cotton yarn from Central Asian countries can be exported more rapidly to China, and more Chinese household appliances, daily necessities, and automobiles can be quickly delivered to Central Asia.

On April 28 this year, the first batch of new energy vehicles (NEVs) manufactured in the SCODA left the automobile trading center of the SCO International Hub Port for the multimodal transport center. Later on, they were shipped to Tajikistan aboard ChinaEurope freight trains. On June 20, a ChinaEurope freight train loaded with tea, car parts and other products departed from the center and headed to Kazakhstan.

Zang Yuanqi, an official with the SCODA Administrative Committee, said that the SCODA has opened 32 freight train routes to 54 cities of 23 SCO countries and Belt and Road partner countries. So far, ChinaEurope freight trains have made more than 3,200 trips along these routes.

Besides, the SCODA has forged partnerships with 20 international port cities and jointly initiated and established the China-SCO Industrial Parks Alliance with 40 industrial parks worldwide.

In recent years, the people-to-people and cultural exchanges are booming in the SCODA, benefiting people of SCO countries.

On January 13, 2022, the China-SCO Institute of Economy and Trade was inaugurated in Qingdao. As of May this year, the institute has hosted 207 training programs, such as foreign aid, business and language training, attracting over 15,000 participants from SCO countries and Belt and Road partner countries, said Zhang Xiaoyan, deputy head of the institute.

 

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