On 26 February 2020, SCO Secretary-General Vladimir Norov had a meeting with UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) Secretary-General Mukhisa Kituyi.
Vladimir Norov noted that UNCTAD, an important UN agency, plays a major role in assisting and supporting developing states, especially landlocked countries.
The SCO Secretary-General noted UNCTAD's work to implement trade cooperation projects in various countries, including expanded e-commerce, efforts to streamline customs regulation and to allow developing countries to access foreign markets more easily. He also pointed out that the SCO was interested in establishing regular working contacts with UNCTAD.
Vladimir Norov said the SCO was now a major venue for strengthening multilateral trade and economic cooperation. The Organisation's region boasts a huge consumer market, a skilled workforce, rich mineral deposits and energy resources, as well as advanced production facilities and technologies.
Speaking about the development of the information and communications technology (ICT) sector, Vladimir Norov noted that it positively influenced the development of e-commerce in SCO member states. For example, e-commerce now accounts for 35 percent of China's trade volumes, and women account for 55 percent of e-commerce employees. According to the SCO Secretary-General, e-commerce helps create jobs for both women and young people, in the first place.
Over 800 million young people aged between 15 and 24 live in the SCO region; consequently, the SCO finds it of upmost importance to forge a healthy digital culture here. This implies efforts to expand the potential of young people, to upgrade their intellectual skills and knowledge and to work to expand young people's business operations in the field of digital and electronic innovations.
UNCTAD Secretary-General Mukhisa Kituyi reaffirmed his readiness to expand relations in numerous spheres and to examine the most acceptable cooperation format with due consideration for both organisations' mandates. In his opinion, SCO member states will find it interesting to gain an insight into UNCTAD's experience of helping various countries strengthen their trade and economic potential, ease their access to foreign markets and address socio-economic matters.
Mukhisa Kituyi noted that UNCTAD was ready to provide SCO member states with analytical and information-statistical material and to share expert assessments and the experience of providing technical assistance. In this connection, he suggested studying the opportunity of organising joint thematic SCO-UNCTAD events regarding the development of such things as e-commerce, transits, customs regulation, etc.
The meeting took place in a friendly manner.