Ficci has been designated by the Government of India to represent Indian industries at the SCO Business Council once India's accession formalities will be completed today.
“We are excited to be a part of this multilateral grouping and contribute to its economic agenda. Business and economic connect would be an important aspect of India's full membership of SCO. We look forward to working with member countries for progress, prosperity and connectivity in the region" said Pankaj Patel, president of Ficci.
The Business Council is an important part of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) and will play an even more significant role with growing focus of the grouping on economic aspects. From a primarily Eurasian construct, SCO now expands its footprint in the Indian subcontinent with the induction of India as a full member. This is the first expansion since Shanghai five became SCO with the induction of Uzbekistan in 2001.
Ficci has been mandated by the Government of India to take on the responsibility of the SCO business council India chapter. In this context, Ficci was present at the SCO Business Council meeting in Astana on 7 June as an observer.
Shiv Khemka, vice chairman of SUN Group with active involvement in the SCO member countries made a statement on behalf of FICCI at this meeting. "SCO membership would not just enable us to come closer economically but to reconnect with our past shared ties of culture and commerce and build a strong edifice of security, connectivity and most importantly inclusive and sustainable development with mutual benefit to all"
The membership to SCO ushers in a new era of regional co-operation and is a testimony to the Prime Minister’s commitment to the “Connect Central Asia Policy”, implemented during his tour of Central Asia in 2015 - 2016 as well as with his recent visits to Russia and China.
Within SCO, India hopes to be a productive partner in building strong trade, transport, energy, digital and people to people links, capacity building and sustainable development initiatives. India's capacities in trade, investments, information and communication technology, financial services, aerospace, S&T, agriculture, health care, small and medium scale industry can bring wide spread economic benefit to the SCO countries.
Currently, SCO accounts for 60% of the land mass of Eurasia, 27 percent of the global GDP and a quarter of the world's population. With India as its full member, SCO boundaries would stretch from the Pacific to Europe, and from the Arctic to the Indian Ocean.