11/08/2011, 00.00
CHINA – CENTRAL ASIA – RUSSIA
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Russia and China to strengthen economic ties with Central Asia

SCO summit reiterates multi-level cooperation and coordination against global crisis. Participants discuss financing mechanisms for joint projects, including special accounts and development banks, as well as ways to consolidate financial and monetary systems among member states.
St Petersburg (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Meeting in St Petersburg (Russia), the leaders of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) have pledged to further economic cooperation and investments. The organisation’s two main members, Russia and China, have also said they would boost their already consolidated ties.

In a joint statement SCO member states (Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan) said they would strengthen economic cooperation in a bid to minimise the negative effects of the global crisis on their countries' banking and financial sectors.

In order to boost investments, leaders discussed ways to finance mechanisms for joint projects, including special accounts and development banks.

The prime ministers also agreed to tap the economic potential and consolidate financial and monetary systems among member states.

Set up to counter international terrorism and promote military cooperation, SCO has expanded into the trading and financial domains.

The organisation also includes some observer states from central and southern Asia, like India, Pakistan and Iran.

Both Russia and China see it as a tool to limit Western influence in Central Asia, a region of great strategic significance that is rich in energy sources and raw materials.

Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao and his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin also held bilateral talks yesterday.

At the end of the meeting, Wen said that in the face of complicated international political and economic situations, China and Russia, as neighbours and world powers, should further strengthen their strategic coordination and consolidate their friendship,.

In light of Europe’s difficulties, both Moscow and Beijing have already said that they are willing to provide financial aid to countries with a debt crisis in exchange for a greater say in international financial institutions.

In the ongoing complex negotiations, the two nations have equally shown a willingness to represent the interests of other emerging economies.
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