BEIJING, Nov. 30 (Xinhua) -- Five months after the expansion of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), the upcoming prime ministers' meeting in Russia is expected to further consolidate pragmatic cooperation among member states and promote stability and integration in the region.
The 16th prime ministers' meeting, to be held on Thursday and Friday in the Russian coastal city of Sochi, will be the first major gathering of the SCO heads of government since the bloc was expanded for the first time to add India and Pakistan as its full members in June's Astana summit in Kazakhstan.
Representatives from the eight member states, which also groups China, Russia, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan besides the new members of India and Pakistan, are expected to focus in the meeting on multilateral trade, all-round cooperation and regional growth in a bid to reach new consensuses in such fields as inter-connectivity, investment and cultural exchange.
As the bloc has developed into a new era amid profound changes in the region and the whole world, a productive and fruitful meeting will deepen mutual trust and strengthen ties among members, so as to enhance stability and prosperity in the Eurasian continent.
With the inclusion of India and Pakistan, both major regional players, the SCO is expected to play a more significant and irreplaceable role as a strong bond in promoting integration between Asia-Pacific, European and the Middle East regions.
The eight-member bloc, which covers nearly half of the world's population and three-fifths of the Eurasian continent, is the world's largest regional cooperation organization in terms of area and population with tremendous potential for development.
Since its founding in 2001, the SCO has made remarkable achievements in security-toughening and anti-terrorism cooperation.
With joint efforts from all member countries, the enlarged organization will boost the region's endeavors in countering cross-border terrorism and strongly protect the security and development interests of both the region and the rest of the world.
Besides, what should be realized is that the SCO has never been simply a security group since its founding. During these years, the organization has also been devoting itself to the region's comprehensive development by facilitating trade and investment, enhancing industrial cooperation and promoting people-to-people exchange.
Given the growing influence of the developing world, closer and deeper cooperation in all fields will inject vigor and vitality into the organization's future development.
It is widely expected that the SCO would play a more important role on world stage and take greater responsibility for peace and development in the region.