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Premier calls for closer regional ties

By Qin Jize (China Daily)

08:05, November 08, 2011

Premier Wen Jiabao and Russia's Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, (fourth from the right), attend a photocall with regional premiers after a meeting on Monday of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization in St. Petersburg, Russia.( photo)

ST. PETERSBURG, Russia - Premier Wen Jiabao proposed greater cooperation on Monday with Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) members and said China will continue to offer funding for key projects.

Addressing SCO prime ministers, Wen said that China hoped to help boost cooperation in trade, finance, transport, agriculture and health. Youth exchange programs will also be strengthened.

China is willing to share its experience to help members establish economic zones, he added. Wen also urged the quick establishment of a development bank for the SCO and a special fund to finance key projects was discussed.

Wen's proposals showed China's determination to boost SCO cooperation for regional growth, analysts said.

"The call for closer economic cooperation and integration within the SCO comes at an important time when the world economy faces the risk of double dip," said Li Xin, director of the Center for Russia and Central Asia Studies with the Shanghai Institutes for International Studies.

Wen's proposals, especially financial and infrastructure cooperation, are vital areas for further regional integration, he said.

Wen also said that China welcomes the development of clean energy and will continue to provide capital and technology for regional power grids.

Jiang Yi, an expert on Russian studies with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said that regional countries are seeking a post-crisis development model.

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