TAJIKISTANS ECONOMIC COOPERATION PROSPECTS WITH THE SCO COUNTRIES

Mavzuna KARIMOVA


Mavzuna Karimova, Ph.D. (Econ.), Head of the Department of Foreign Economic Affairs, Institute of Economics and Demography of the Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Tajikistan (Dushanbe, Tajikistan)


Introduction

The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) was established on 15 June, 2001 in Shanghai (PRC) by the Republic of Kazakhstan (RK), the PRC, the Kyrgyz Republic (KR), the Russian Federation (RF), the Republic of Tajikistan (RT), and the Republic of Uzbekistan (RU).

The SCOs prototype was the Shanghai Five, the members of which were all of the aforementioned countries apart from Uzbekistan. This political association was established when Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, China, Russia, and Tajikistan signed agreements on confidence-building in the military sphere (Shanghai, 1996) and on mutual reduction of armed forces in the border zone (Moscow, 1997). Thus a mutual confidence-building facility was launched in the military sphere in the border regions and conditions created for establishing truly partnership relations among the countries.

After Uzbekistan joined the organization in 2001, the Five became Six and the structure was renamed the SCO. Moreover, at present four countries (India, Iran, Mongolia, and Pakistan) have observer status in the organization, while another two (Belarus and Sri Lanka) are dialog partners.

The SCO has two permanent members of the U.N. Security Council China and Russia, which are nuclear-weapon states under the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). Another two non-NPT nuclear powersIndia and Pakistanhave observer country status. India and China are also among the most rapidly developing economies of the world and are the most highly populated countries on the planet.

The economy is one of the key spheres in cooperation among the SCO states and particular attention is focused on the development of economic relations. The objective of this article is to assess the state and prospects for Tajikistans economic cooperation within the framework of this organization.

The SCO in the Framework of Regional and Global Politics

Although the SCOs initial tasks were associated with taking joint interregional steps to intercept terrorist acts, separatism, and extremism in Central Asia (CA), the organizations activity quickly acquired a comprehensive economic orientation. In September 2003, the heads of the SCO member states signed a Multilateral Economic Trade Cooperation Program targeted for 20 years. One of the long-term objectives was to establish a free trade area in the SCO expanse, while in the short term, active efforts were aimed at creating favorable conditions for reciprocal trade and investment.

Cooperation within the SCO encompasses such spheres as power engineering, transport, agriculture, telecommunications, and..


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