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SCO Summit: Modi calls for extension of transit rights

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi has called for extension of transit rights by members countries of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) to one another to improve connectivity and help build reliable, resilient and diversified supply chains in the region.

“The pandemic and the Ukraine crisis have created several hurdles for global supply chains due to which the entire world is facing unprecedented food and fertiliser crisis. The SCO must make efforts to develop reliable, resilient and diversified supply chains in our region. This will require better connectivity, as well as it will be important that we all give each other full right to transit,” Modi said at the SCO Summit in Uzbekistan on Friday.

Transit restrictions

Modi’s stress on transit rights at the meeting is especially important as Pakistan, a member country of the SCO, has placed several transit restrictions on Indian goods which makes it difficult for India to even send emergency supplies to neighbouring countries.

The SCO includes India, China, Russia, Pakistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. The Indian PM is in Samarkand on a two-day official tour at the invitation of President of Uzbekistan.

Economic recovery

The PM pointed out that in a world grappling with the challenges of post-pandemic economic recovery, the role of the SCO had increased in significance. SCO member countries contribute to 30 per cent of global GDP and account for 40 per cent of the world population. “India supports greater cooperation and mutual trust among SCO members.,” he said.

Highlighting the progress being made in transforming India into a manufacturing hub, the PM said that India’s economy was expected to grow by 7.5 percent this year, which will be the highest among the world’s largest economies. “A lot of focus is also being given on the proper use of technology in our people-centric development model. We are supporting innovation in every sector,” he said. 

Start-ups

There are more than 70,000 start-ups in India, of which more than 100 are unicorns, Modi said. He said that India’s experience could also be useful for many other SCO members and the country was ready to share its experience with SCO member countries by establishing a new Special Working Group on Start-ups and Innovation.

The Indian PM also focussed on the challenge of global food security and said that cultivation and consumption of millets could be one possible solution. “The year 2023 will be celebrated as the UN international year of millets. We should consider organising a `millet food festival’ under the SCO,” he said.

Published on

September 16, 2022



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