Prime Minister Narendra Modi along with leaders of SCO nations including Russian President Vladimir Putin, Chinese President Xi Jinping, Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sarif, and Uzbekistan President Shavkat Mirziyoyev today participated in the 22nd SCO Summit at Samarkand in Uzbekistan.
Speaking at the SCO expanded format meet, Mr Modi said the pandemic and the crisis in Ukraine caused many obstacles in global supply chains, due to which the whole world is facing an unprecedented energy and food crisis.
He said SCO must make efforts to develop reliable, resilient and diversified supply chains in our region. He stressed that this will require better connectivity, and need for giving each other full right to transit.
Mr Modi said progress is being made to make India a manufacturing hub. He said India’s young and talented workforce makes the country naturally competitive.
He added that India’s economy is expected to grow by 7.5 percent this year, which will be the highest among the world’s largest economies. He pointed out that there are more than 70 thousands Start-ups in India, of which more than 100 are unicorns.
Mr Modi emphasised that the world faces the major challenge of ensuring food security of all citizens. He said promoting the cultivation and consumption of millets is one possible solution.
He said millets are a superfood that has been grown for thousands of years, not just in SCO countries, but in many parts of the world. The year 2023 will be celebrated as the UN International Year of Millets. He also said ‘Millet Food Festival’ should be organised under the SCO.
Prime Minister also said that India is today one of the most affordable destinations for medical and wellness tourism in the world. WHO Global Centre for Traditional Medicine was inaugurated in Gujarat in April 2022.
This will be WHO’s first and only global centre for traditional medicine. Mr Modi said cooperation must be increased on traditional medicine among SCO countries. He said that India will take the initiative for a new SCO Working Group on Traditional Medicine.
Besides leaders of SCO member states, observer states, Secretary General of the SCO, Executive Director of the SCO Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure (RATS), President of Turkmenistan and other invited guests attended the meet.
Mr Modi reached Uzbekistan last night. He was received by Prime Minister of Uzbekistan Abdulla Aripov at the airport. India has been working closely with Uzbekistan towards the success of their Chairship.
On the sidelines of the SCO Summit, Prime Minister Modi will hold informal meetings with a number of leaders on matters of mutual interest. He will also take part in bilateral meetings scheduled to be held after the summit with Russia, Uzbekistan and Iran.
According to the Russian Ambassador to India, Denis Alipov, during a meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin, deliberations will be held on defence cooperation and military supplies.
The two leaders are expected to discuss the International North South Transport Corridor, bilateral trade and trade with Central Asian countries, Cooperation within the UN and G-20, Strategic stability and the situation in the Indo-Pacific region.
The Prime Minister will also hold bilateral meetings with President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev.