India has millennia-old civilizational, cultural and spiritual ties with the SCO region. From the Buddhist monks to spice traders, from adventurous explorers to Sufi saints, interaction between India and the SCO Member States has led to exchange of goods, fusion of ideas, introduction of new cuisines and art-forms. India’s membership of SCO in 2017, was therefore, a reaffirmation of India’s keenness to deepen its historic ties with the region.
India has maintained an active engagement with the organization since it became a full-fledged Member State in 2017. In 2020, India hosted for the first time , the meeting of SCO Council of Heads of Government, the second-highest decision-making body of the organization. India has carved a niche for itself by emphasizing on three new pillars of cooperation in SCO – Startups & Innovation, Science & Technology and Traditional Medicine.
The next important milestone will be India’s Chairmanship of SCO Council of Heads of State for the very first time beginning September 2022 for a period of one year. Our Chairmanship will culminate with the SCO Summit to be chaired by Hon’ble Prime Minister of India.
India implemented Hon’ble Prime Minister’s announcements made at the Bishkek Summit of the SCO Heads of State in 2019 that were aimed to bring into sharper focus our millennia-old shared civilizational heritage. They include: hosting the first-ever SCO Digital Exhibition on Shared Buddhist Heritage by the National Museum, and the translation of 10 classics of Indian regional literature into Russian and Chinese languages.
India organized the first-ever SCO Young Scientists Conclave, the first-ever Consortium of SCO Economic Think Tanks and the first-ever SCO Startup Forum (in virtual-format). In the B2B format, FICCI convened the SCO Business Conclave with special emphasis on Cooperation between MSMEs of SCO region through the national chapters of the SCO Business Council.With the successful conclusion of its Chairmanship of the SCO Council of Heads of Government in 2022, India hopes to further strengthen greater trade, economic and cultural cooperation within SCO by putting human beings at the center of SCO activities and to foster greater peace and prosperity in the region.
A new chapter in India’s engagement with SCO begins in 2022, as India assumes the Chairmanship of the organization, after Uzbekistan. A number of substantive and impactfull events await the members of the organization in 2022-23.