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Setting Up the SCO Development Bank Is on the Agenda, Says Kazakh Foreign Minister

May 27, 2016 (EIRNS)—During the upcoming meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization Ministers of Finance, scheduled to be held in Bishkek in September, the issue of establishment of the SCO Development Bank will be discussed, Foreign Affairs Minister of Kazakhstan Erlan Idrissov said this week, and Kazinform reported today. Idrissov spoke at the 3rd meeting of the Heads of the SCO Supreme Financial Control Authorities in Astana. He said,

"The SCO’s trade and economic dimension is very important and promising for Kazakhstan, since there are many plans for development of this dimension within the Organization. We have to carry out quite serious work on creating the mechanisms to ensure economic, trade and investment activity within the SCO. The point at issue is the SCO Development Bank."

It is evident that the proposal is at a nascent stage, and it has not been revealed so far, what will be the source and amount of financing of this bank. Nonetheless, a development bank which will participate in the development of SCO countries will be a welcome addition. An SCO Development Bank will add to the expanding credit sources and availability from the new AIIB, BRICS New Development Bank and others.

The proposal was first floated by Russia. On Dec. 1, 2015, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov put forward such a proposal, as reported by Itar-Tass, cited by the Caspian Times. "The creation of mechanisms for financial provision for the organization’s projects is long overdue," the minister said at a meeting of SCO foreign ministers, the article noted.

"Our financiers consider the scheme of the establishment of the SCO Development Bank, as best likened to the successful operations of the Eurasian Development Bank in the region, for being the most effective. We currently are discussing this option with colleagues,"

Lavrov added on that occasion.

Subsequently, Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang also endorsed the SCO Development Bank proposal.

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