On 9 January 2020, SCO Secretary-General Vladimir Norov had a meeting with Alibaba Group Vice President for Global Initiatives Brian A. Wong at the SCO Secretariat.
During the talks, Vladimir Norov spoke to Brian A. Wong about the efforts being taken by the SCO to try and promote information and communications technologies, the digital economy and e-commerce, as well as documents that have been approved in this field and the relevant intra-SCO working groups. He noted that the SCO had passed a concept of cooperation in the digitalisation sphere and a programme of multilateral trade and economic cooperation between the SCO member states up until the year 2035.
According to Vladimir Norov, the Organisation is interested in expanding cooperation in the field of multiple state-of-the-art technologies, including the digital and telecommunications infrastructure, information security, e-government, smart cities, the Internet of things, big data processing technologies, AI, block-chain technologies, intelligent control systems, new production processes, robotic and quantum-computing technologies. All of them are listed as high-priority aspects of collaboration between SCO member states under the above-mentioned documents.
"Over 800 million young people living in SCO countries have the required higher education and work experience in this area. China now leads the way in e-commerce, and SCO states are therefore interested in studying the experience of your company as the main driving force in this field," the SCO Secretary-General noted.
He also pointed out that participants in the SCO's Qingdao Summit had passed a joint address to young people, as well as an action plan to implement the provisions of this address.
"In an effort to implement these documents, the SCO Secretariat and the SCO's SCOLAR youth platform held the second youth conference on digital trade and e-commerce, as well as related challenges and prospects in the SCO region, that brought together over 200 young people. We are delighted to note that your company also attended this event," Vladimir Norov noted.
He drew the attention of partners to the fact that the participants in the SCO's Bishkek Summit and the SCO Heads of Government Council (HGC) Meeting in Tashkent had focused on digital economic transformation. For example, Premier of the State Council of the People's Republic of China Li Keqiang had announced the establishment of a centre for transferring SCO member-states' technologies in China, as well as the launching of the SCO International Youth Business Incubator programme in 2020.
"To implement the provisions of the above-mentioned documents, we suggest that the Alibaba Group and the SCO study the possibility of establishing startups for the creation of business incubators, business schools or special courses for the region's young people. This would help promote information-and-communications technologies, the digital economy and e-commerce," SCO Secretary-General pointed out.
In turn, Brian A. Wong spoke about his company's efforts to promote the digital economy. The company has its own educational programme for training e-commerce specialists, he noted. Brian A. Wong also said the company had completed the training of specialists for the African continent, as well as 15,000 specialists for Malaysia. A programme to train online entrepreneurs is also being implemented at South East Asian universities in collaboration with the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).
The Alibaba Group Vice President offered his assistance in implementing a joint project to expand the digital economy's ecosystem that would involve young specialists from SCO countries.
Mr Brian A. Wong presented Alibaba Group's educational programmes and voiced his company's willingness to launch close cooperation with the SCO in order to expand e-commerce in the SCO region.