Prime Minister Narendra Modi, speaking at the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit on Friday, September 16, 2022 in Samarkand, Uzbekistan, said he wants to transform India into a manufacturing hub. During the historic Summit, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Chinese President Xi Jinping, and Russian President Vladimir Putin were in attendance, among others. The summit is also being attended by Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi and leaders of several central Asian countries.
The world leaders deliberated on the regional security situation and ways to enhance trade and connectivity at the annual summit of the grouping. SCO should try to create resilient supply chain in our region, Modi said. He added that COVID-19 and the Ukraine situation have resulted in hurdles in global supply chain, culminating in food and energy security crisis. “World is facing challenge of economic recovery,” said Modi.
Better connectivity and giving transit rights is key to creating a better supply chain, Prime Minister Modi said at the SCO Summit. He is expected to hold bilateral meetings on the sidelines of the summit, including with Putin, and Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev among other leaders.
As per media reports, Putin met with Xi on the sidelines of the summit and acknowledged that China had “questions and concerns” about Russia’s war in Ukraine, a notable, if cryptic, admission that Moscow lacks the full backing of its biggest, most powerful partner on the world stage. Rather than put on a show of Eurasian unity against the West as Russia struggled to recover from last week’s humiliating military retreat in northeastern Ukraine, the two leaders struck discordant notes in their public remarks — and Xi made no mention of Ukraine at all.
Stating that India’s economy is expected to grow at 7.5% this year, he remarked that the government is making progress in making India a manufacturing hub. “There is lot of focus on proper use of technology in our people-centric development model.”
It is for the first time Modi and Xi came face-to-face at the summit in this historic Uzbek city since the start of the border standoff between India and China in eastern Ladakh around 28 months back. However, there is no clarity yet on whether there will be a bilateral meeting between Mr. Modi and Mr. Xi on the sidelines of the summit.
The summit of the eight-nation influential grouping is taking place amid the growing geo-political turmoil largely triggered by the Russian invasion of Ukraine and China’s aggressive military posturing in the Taiwan Strait.
At the venue of the summit, Modi was warmly greeted by Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev. “President Shavkat Mirziyoyev of Uzbekistan welcomed PM@narendramodi to the Congress Centre in Samarkand for the 22nd SCO Summit. India has been working closely with Uzbekistan towards the success of their Chairship,” External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi tweeted.
In another tweet, he said:”PM @narendramodi joins the leaders of SCO Member States for discussions on topical, regional and international issues, including regional peace and security, trade and connectivity, culture and tourism.” After the summit, Prime Minister Modi will have separate bilateral meetings with Russian President Putin, Uzbek President Mirziyoyev and Iranian President Raisi.
Hours before departing for Samarkand, Modi said he was looking forward to exchanging views at the summit on topical regional and international issues as well as on reform and expansion of the grouping. “At the SCO Summit, I look forward to exchanging views on topical, regional and international issues, the expansion of SCO and further deepening of multifaceted and mutually beneficial cooperation within the Organization,” Modi said in a statement.
“Under the Uzbek chairship, a number of decisions for mutual cooperation are likely to be adopted in areas of trade, economy, culture and tourism,” he said.
The summit in Samarkand will have two sessions – one restricted session which is only meant for the SCO member states and then there will be an extended session that is likely to see the participation of the observers and the special invitees of the chair country. Launched in Shanghai in June 2001, the SCO has eight full members, including its six founding members, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. India and Pakistan joined as full members in 2017.
The SCO was founded at a summit in Shanghai in 2001 by the presidents of Russia, China, the Kyrgyz Republic, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. Over the years, it has emerged as one of the largest trans-regional international organisations. India and Pakistan became its permanent members in 2017. Iran is likely to be given the status of a permanent member of the SCO at the Samarkand summit.
Chinese President Xi Jinping on Friday congratulated India for hosting the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Summit, next year and said “we will support India for its presidency next year,” according to news agency ANI report. “We will support India for its presidency next year”, said Chinese President Xi Jinping.