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SCO banks sign roadmap on combatting COVID-19, national currency

The countries of Eurasia completed the year of operation of the SCO Interbank Consortium by signing a roadmap on combatting the pandemic and joint approaches to the use of the national currency. The press service of VEB reports.

A meeting of the Interbank Consortium of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (IBC SCO) took place today. The banks summed up the results of their work this year. The year turned out to be difficult: the SCO countries faced the challenges of the pandemic and the accompanying economic shocks. The work of the Interbank Consortium has been transformed to better meet current challenges so that development banks can fully support national governments in difficult times.

«Despite the changed plans, we managed to give a new impetus to interbank cooperation,» said VEB Chairman Igor Shuvalov.

In his turn, the Deputy Prime Minister Alexei Overchuk noted that the awareness of the unity of goals and objectives helped the SCO states this year.

«We see great potential for the development of specific transport and logistics investment projects, increasing mutual commodity flows. There are good prospects for launching joint industrial projects that develop the international division of labor and increase the efficiency of our economies. Development institutions and banks play a key role in all of these endeavors. The roadmap for overcoming the consequences of the pandemic, adopted today by the development banks of the SCO countries, is designed to create new points of economic growth, stimulate trade and investment in the space of the member states,» he stressed.

According to the roadmap plan, the parties intend to conduct an active exchange of experience in anti-crisis measures, support for companies and industries, small and medium-sized businesses, and exports. In addition, it is planned to form a base of potential projects for joint investment, develop a mechanism and instruments for long-term lending to infrastructure projects that have a high effect for the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals, and stimulate the green finance market.

In addition, representatives of the Interbank Consortium also adopted a document on joint approaches to the issue of expanding the use of the national currency in the SCO space. Development banks of the organization’s countries «consider it expedient to create conditions for stimulating settlements in national currency between subjects of foreign economic activity of the SCO member states and ensuring a gradual transition to settlements in national currency.» In addition, they recognize the importance of the study by the states of the organization of the interaction of various systems for transfer of financial messages with the SWIFT system to increase the stability of settlements.