SCO summit: PM Modi pitches for full transit rights, says ‘want to transform India into manufacturing hub’ | India News

NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi, while speaking at the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit, 2022, in Uzbekistan’s Samarkand, stressed the need for creation on resilient supply chain in “our region” and giving transit rights to each other.
Prime Minister Modi on Friday attended the annual summit of the SCO along with Russian President Vladimir Putin, China’s Xi Jinping, Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, Uzbekistan’s Shavkat Mirziyoyev and leaders of six other central Asian countries. It is for the first time that Xi and Modi came face-to-face since the border standoff between India and China escalated following a deadly clash in Galwan Valley in June 2020.
As PM Modi entered the venue of the summit on day two of the September 15-16 event, he was warmly greeted by Uzbek President Mirziyoyev.
The day two was kept for deliberations at the restricted format of the summit, before which the leaders of the permanent members of the grouping posed for a group photo.
After the deliberation, PM Modi addressed the grouping. Here are the key points he touched on:

  1. Prime Minister Modi said that the role of SCO is very important as the whole world faced the challenge of economic recovery after the pandemic. “The SCO member countries contribute about 30 per cent to global GDP while 40 per cent of the world’s population also resides in SCO countries. India supports greater cooperation and mutual trust among SCO members.”
  2. He said the pandemic and the crisis in Ukraine have caused many disruptions in global supply chains, leaving the world facing unprecedented energy and food crises. “SCO should strive to develop reliable, resilient and diversified supply chains in our region. For this, better connectivity will be required, and it will also be important that we all give full rights of transit to each other.”
  3. The PM said India was making progress on developing itself as a manufacturing hub. “India’s young and talented workforce makes us naturally competitive … There is also a lot of focus on proper use of technology in our people-centric development model. We are supporting innovation in every sector. Today there are over 70,000 startups in India, of which over 100 are unicorns. This experience of ours can be of use to many other SCO members as well.”
  4. He said India was ready to share “our experience with the member countries of SCO by establishing a new Special Working Group on Startups and Innovation”.
  5. He said India’s economy is expected to grow at 7.5 per cent this year, which will be the highest among the world’s major economies.
  6. The PM then touched on another major challenge the world faces today – ensuring food security of citizens. “One possible solution to this problem is to promote the cultivation and consumption of millets. Millets is a superfood that has been grown for thousands of years, not only in SCO countries, but in many parts of the world, and is a traditional, nutritious and low-cost alternative to the food crisis. The year 2023 will be celebrated as the UN International Year of Millets.”
  7. Prime Minister Modi proposed considering organising a ‘Millet Food Festival’ under SCO.
  8. The PM went on to speak about India today being one of the most affordable destinations for medical and wellness tourism in the world. “The WHO Global Center for Traditional Medicine, first and only such place, was inaugurated in Gujarat in April 2022. We should increase cooperation on traditional medicine among SCO countries. For this, India will take initiative on a new SCO Working Group on Traditional Medicine.”

Before concluding his address, PM Modi thanked President Mirziyoyev for the excellent conduct of “today’s meeting and for his warm hospitality”.
After the summit, Prime Minister Modi is set to have separate bilateral meetings with Russian President Putin, Uzbek President Mirziyoyev and Iranian President Raisi.
Modi had arrived at Samarkand on Thursday night.
(With inputs from agencies)

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