Ficci has been designated by the government to represent the country’s businesses at the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation Business Council, the industry body said today. Capping a 2-year long process, India and Pakistan today became full members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, a China-dominated security grouping that is increasingly seen as a counterweight to Nato, after a formal induction ceremony in Astana, Kazakhstan.
“We are excited to be 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 the SCO. We look forward to working with member countries for progress, prosperity and connectivity in the region,” Ficci President Pankaj Patel said.
The business council is expected to play a significant role in the SCO on account of the grouping’s increasing focus on economic aspects. From a primarily Eurasian construct, the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) now expands its footprint in the Indian sub-continent with the induction of India as a full member.
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“India’s capacities in trade, investments, information and communication technology, financial services, space, S&T, agriculture, healthcare, small and medium scale industry can bring widespread economic benefit to the SCO countries,” Ficci said. With the expansion of the grouping, the SCO will now represent over 40 per cent of global population and nearly 20 per cent of the global GDP.
As an SCO member, India may have a bigger say in pressing for concerted action in dealing with terrorism as well as issues relating to security and defence in the region.