|SCO prime ministers discuss cooperation in Astana|
ASTANA, Oct. 30 (Xinhua) -- The prime ministers of the member countries of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) met here Thursday to discuss the promotion of cooperation within the organization.
At the meeting that gathered Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao and prime ministers of other SCO countries, a joint declaration was issued on the status quo of and prospects for the pragmatic cooperation within the organization in such fields as politics, economy and trade, and culture.
The SCO, an inter-governmental organization founded in Shanghai in 2001, groups China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. Pakistan, India, Iran and Mongolia are observer nations.
The SCO members vowed to go all out to implement the consensus reached by SCO leaders at their Dushanbe summit in August in a bid to promote the steady and sustained development of multilateral cooperation within the organization.
The prime ministers are satisfied with the progress in cooperation on economy, trade and culture since their regular meeting last year in Uzbekistan's capital Tashkent, the declaration said.
They agreed to deepen cooperation in all fields in line with an amended guideline concerning the implementation of the multilateral economic and trade cooperation approved at the meeting.
Joint work should be done to provide a stable and predictable environment for trade and to strengthen the market mechanism, the prime ministers said.
The member states agreed to enhance cooperation in enhancing energy efficiency, developing clean energy, utilizing renewable energy and ensuring energy security.
They also vowed to boost cooperation in transportation, customs supervision and health care.
The rational and efficient use of water resources is significant to the sustainable development of the Central Asian countries, the prime ministers noted, adding that an upcoming meeting of SCO environmental protection officials is of vital importance.
The prime ministers reiterated the importance of cooperation in disasters prevention and relief, adding a regular meeting of leading officials in charge of disaster relief will be held in the first half of 2009.
The prime ministers called for a meeting of agriculture ministers of the member states to coordinate policies on ensuring regional food security and promoting agricultural production.
They also noted the broad prospects for cooperation on modern information technology.
In view of the need to strengthen links between businesses and banks, the prime ministers proposed that an economic forum of major business leaders from member states be jointly sponsored by bank officials and entrepreneurs.
Participation of observer countries in member states' meetings is conducive to attracting these countries into the cooperation projects within the SCO framework, the prime ministers said.
The Chinese premier arrived here Wednesday evening on a three-day official visit to Kazakhstan.
Kazakhstan is the second leg of his two-nation tour which has already taken him to Russia, where Wen held talks with Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and met with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and parliament leaders.
Wen and Putin also attended the third Sino-Russian economic forum in Moscow. The two countries signed a series of cooperation agreements in economy, trade, science and technology, energy and culture.