The 14th prime ministers' meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) opened on Monday in central China's Zhengzhou City.[Special coverage]
During the two-day meeting, heads of government from the SCO members of China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan are expected to discuss cooperation in trade, investment, finance, transportation and culture.
The regular meeting mechanism among the prime ministers within the SCO framework was established in September 2001. The first meeting, held in Almaty, Kazakhstan, launched the multilateral economic and trade cooperation process among the six member states.
On Sept. 23, 2003, the second meeting of SCO prime ministers took place in Beijing, China. Six documents were signed at the end of the meeting, including the program of multilateral trade and economic cooperation of SCO member states, the memorandum on technically launching permanent institutions of the SCO and a joint communique of the prime ministerial meeting.
On Sept. 22, 2004, the third meeting held in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan agreed that terrorism, separatism and extremism remained the major threats to the security and stability of the region, and called for closer bilateral and multilateral cooperation in the fight against these evil forces.
Participants reaffirmed that regional economic cooperation was among the SCO's priorities and they pledged to focus on cooperation projects in energy, transport, telecommunications and agriculture.
On Oct. 26, 2005, SCO heads of government held their fourth meeting in Moscow. Leaders agreed to promote cooperation in various fields including infrastructure construction, energy, telecommunications, finance, culture, tourism, science and technology. They also agreed to strengthen strikes against the three evil forces.
The fifth prime ministers' meeting was held in Dushanbe, Tajikistan, on Sept. 15, 2006. The six prime ministers studied the priority of economic cooperation among SCO member states, and proposed specific measures for trade, scientific, social and cultural cooperation.
At the sixth meeting, held in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, in 2007, participating leaders exchanged views on how to enhance cooperation in trade, investment, traffic, energy, telecommunications, customs and culture, and reached consensus on improving business environment, pushing for the implementation of connectivity projects and expanding financing channels.
On Oct. 30, 2008, the seventh SCO prime ministers' meeting was held in Astana, Kazakhstan. The meeting issued a joint declaration on the status quo of and prospects for the pragmatic cooperation within the organization in politics, economy and trade, culture and other fields.
On Oct. 14, 2009, prime ministers from the six SCO members gathered in Beijing. They agreed to facilitate trade, improve port infrastructure construction and enhance capability and efficiency of customs clearance.
On Nov. 7, 2010, the ninth SCO prime minister's meeting opened in Dushanbe, Tajikistan. Participating leaders discussed coordination among member states in non-resource areas and launched an SCO economic development supervision system and an e-commerce platform.
On Nov. 7, 2011, at the 10th meeting in the Russian city of St. Petersburg, SCO government leaders discussed for the first time the establishment of a financing mechanism for joint projects, including special accounts and development banks within the SCO framework.
On Dec. 5, 2012, at the 11th meeting in Bishkek, participants signed a draft of documents, including a statement on the SCO Development Fund, a memorandum of cooperation on protecting intellectual property rights, among others.
On Nov. 29, 2013, in the Uzbek capital of Tashkent, SCO heads of government agreed during the 12th meeting to strengthen dialogue, expand fiscal and financial cooperation, and deepen regional trade and investment collaboration
On Dec. 16, 2014, the 13th SCO prime ministers' meeting opened in Astana, Kazakhstan. Leaders decided to make collective efforts to strengthen the competitive edge of their economies, maintain economic stability, enhance investment environment, and expand industrial output.