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India to host summit of SCO council of heads of government on Nov 30, says MEA

New Delhi: India will host a summit of the council of heads of government of the SCO on November 30 with a focus on contributing to the trade and economic agenda of the influential grouping, a senior official in the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) has said. India has been focusing on expanding its cooperation with the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), an eight-nation regional grouping that represents around 42 per cent of the world's population and 20 per cent of the global GDP.

"India's chairmanship of the SCO council of heads of government during 2020 culminating in the summit in India on November 30, affords us an opportunity to contribute in a substantive way on the trade and economic agenda of SCO - that will be the main mandate of the summit," Vikas Swarup, Secretary (West) in the MEA, said on Wednesday.

Speaking at an online seminar on ties between India and the SCO, he said the renewed momentum in building regional synergies by the bloc is reflected in addressing common security challenges and building long-term economic and energy linkages.

India, which was an observer at the SCO since 2005 and became its full member in 2017, has been strongly pushing for connectivity projects like the International North-South Transport Corridor to gain access to resource-rich central Asian countries.

"More than a decade of engagement with the organization, underscores India's willingness to play a more meaningful role in this regional grouping," Swarup said.

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