Iran proposes network of joint free zones within SCO

Iran’s Acting President Mohammad Mokhber
Photo credit: Akorda

Iran’s Acting President, Mohammad Mokhber has proposed the setting up a network of joint free zones within the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) and highlighted the potential of member states in expanding regional trade, IRNA reports.

Addressing the 24th leadership summit of the SCO in Astana, Kazakhstan on Thursday, Mokhber also suggested economic agreements such as preferential and free trade agreements between members of this Eurasian organization.

He emphasized that there are many opportunities and capacities in the territory of the member countries of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization in the field of trade, production, energy and transportation, as well as in the field of artificial intelligence (AI), which he said could be utilize for the benefit of nations and for sustainable peace and development in the SCO region and elsewhere in the world.

Mokhber also highlighted the importance of transit corridors in facilitating trade, economic development, and political stability of member countries.“We believe that SCO members can trade with other countries through Iran's North-South Corridor and southern ports at a lower cost and with a faster pace.”

Furthermore, Mokhber criticized some countries for using political tools, especially unilateral sanctions in the field of energy, stressing the Islamic Republic of Iran has strong stance against such measures.

He emphasized that Iran, as a major producer of energy resources, especially oil and gas, has always pursued a policy of multilateralism in the energy sector, noting that Iran actively participates in formulating the "Shanghai Cooperation Organization's Energy Cooperation Strategy" document and supports its adoption and implementation.

He also mentioned that the use of national currencies and increasing their share in trade fund settlements between member countries should be given serious considerations within the organization, adding that Iran fully supports the continuation of negotiations by specialized working groups in this field until the ultimate goal of reducing or eliminating the dollar from multilateral exchanges is achieved.

Mokhber expressed that Iran welcomes the establishment of the organization's banking union and believes that it can enhance cooperation among member countries in the financial and economic sectors.

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