On the morning of April 26th, 2021 Shanghai Cooperation Organization (hereinafter referred to as the “SCO”) International Investment and Trade Expo & SCO Qingdao Forum on Local Economic and Trade Cooperation kicked-off at Fangyuan Sport Center, Jiaozhou, Qingdao, Shandong Province. A host of guests from home and abroad, including 76 envoys from 30 countries, gathered to discuss cooperation and seek mutual development.
During the opening ceremony, the China-SCO Members Trade Index was released. The Index shows that, following the increasingly tightened trade ties, the China-SCO Members imports and exports increased from US$17.14 billion in 2001 to US$244.85 billion in 2020, with an average annual growth of 15%.
At the event, there was also the unveiling ceremony of the SCO liaison office of council for Chinese industrialists, and the liaison office of joint meeting system for former diplomats of Ministry of Commerce; SCO representatives from four sister cities and 19 sister parks in 17 countries signed MOUs with the authorities of Qingdao and the China-Shanghai Cooperation Organization Demonstration Zone for Local Economic and Trade Cooperation (hereinafter referred to as the “Demonstration Zone”) on site or online to establish friendly relations and launch cooperation in 20 projects with investment totaling RMB66.8 billion in such sectors as trade and logistics, new energy, high-end manufacturing, culture tourism and biomedicine.
During the forum, people gained information about the Demonstration Zone, and guests gave keynote speeches revolving around "enhancing bilateral and multilateral local economic and trade cooperation and promoting higher-level opening-up under new international circumstances". In addition, the “Qingdao Initiative” on enhancing local economic and trade cooperation was announced. The initiative says the SCO members have pulled off remarkable successes in strengthening exchanges, deepening cooperation, fighting terrorism and driving economic development and cultural fusion since the founding of the SCO. It calls on the SCO—the largest regional organization in the world in terms of geographical coverage and population—to make greater contributions to the development of its members by promoting local economic and trade cooperation, providing more and better channels for international logistics and accelerating investment and trade facilitation. It points out that 2021 marks the 20th anniversary of SCO’s establishment, which will open a new page for multilateral cooperation and development. SCO members will promote the development of regional economy by discussion, joint construction, sharing and genuine cooperation.
In the afternoon, the SCO Qingdao Forum held three themed seminars to discuss the function and opportunities brought by cities and parks in the local economic and trade cooperation in SCO countries, local innovative economic and trade business model in SCO countries in the post-pandemic era, and the opportunities and challenges brought by the joint-development of Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (hereinafter referred to as the “RCEP”) and SCO.
The expo was hosted by Qingdao Municipal People’s Government, CCOIC, and China Council for the Promotion of International Trade Shandong Sub-council (hereinafter abbreviated as the “CCPIT Shandong”). It was organized by administrative committee of the Demonstration Zone, Jiaozhou City People’s Government, China Council for the Promotion of International Trade Qingdao Sub-council (hereinafter abbreviated as the “CCPIT Qingdao”), Bureau of Commerce Qingdao, and Foreign Affairs Office of Qingdao Municipal Government. The expo attracted 442 enterprises to display their products at the offline exhibition. There was also an online edition where over 1,400 enterprises sought business opportunities. During the expo, other events were held as well, including the Trade and Invest in SCO Countries & B2B Matchmaking Meeting.