On 29 October the SCO will hold the first forum of its member states’ Heads of Regions with support from the SCO Council of National Coordinators. The discussion, via videoconference, is to be conducted by the heads of regions in India, Kazakhstan, China, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, Pakistan and Uzbekistan as well as certain economic agencies, and is to focus on the development of inter-regional cooperation within the SCO space. Chelyabinsk Region Governor and forum chair Alexei Teksler, Russia’s Special Presidential Envoy to the SCO Bakhtiyer Khakimov, and representatives from the Ministry of Economic Development will address the forum on behalf of Russia.
The Chelyabinsk Region initiated this new area of cooperation within the SCO in 2016 to expand contact between the authorities, business and financial communities, scientific and non-government organisations with a view to jointly resolving the issues that face the regions in the SCO member states. This Russian initiative was supported by all parties at the SCO Heads of State Council Meeting in Astana in June 2017. In 2019, at their subsequent summit in Bishkek, the heads of state adopted the Programme for the Development of Inter-Regional Cooperation, which laid down the maim areas of interaction as well as the regulations determining the forum’s objectives, goals and operational principles.
The forum is to become a platform for lively dialogue between the heads of the SCO member states’ regions to work together in the search for opportunities to develop joint projects, including in investment, as well social, cultural and humanitarian exchanges.