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International Coronavirus Accelerating Digital Transformation: SCO Secretary General

Islamabad: The coronavirus pandemic has caused great damage to public health and the global economy, but at the same time it has also brought new opportunities by accelerating the process of digital transformation in all sectors, said the Secretary General of the Organization of the Islamic Cooperation. Shanghai Vladimir Norov.

Norov was speaking at the plenary session of the four-day 23-day Sustainable Development Conference (SDC) entitled: Sustainable Development in Times of COVID-19, inaugurated by the Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) in Islamabad, Monday.

The SCO Secretary General said that the digital economy and cross-border e-commerce will play an increasingly important role in rebuilding the world economy after the COVID-19 pandemic in terms of achieving economic growth, increasing the competitiveness of economies and improving quality to live thus contributing to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the SDPI said in a statement.

He said that at the time of the pandemic, global online retail sales are on the rise, and additional jobs are being created.

“SCO member states see stability in Afghanistan as a need for regional peace and economic development,” Norov said, adding that Afghanistan has borders with four SCO member states and its stability is essential for peace and development of the entire region. .

The Beijing-based headquarters is an eight-member economic and security bloc. India and Pakistan joined the group in 2017. Its founding members include China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.

Norav said this year’s SCO Summit ended while completing an action plan for implementing the SCO 2025 development strategy, which focuses on the early recovery of our economies from the pandemic.

Ambassador Shafqat Kakakhel, Chairman of the SDPI Board of Governors, in his welcome speech, said that when COVID-19 was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization, this deadly disease affected over 65 million people and killed half a million, including doctors , nurses, and other medical personnel.

He said efforts to curb the spread of the virus through blockades restricting all kinds of human activities have led to huge financial losses. Industrial production and trade, in-country and out-of-country travel, tourism, educational and cultural activities, and normal health care facilities have been disrupted.

These measures have hampered socio-economic development, accelerated unemployment, deepened poverty, disrupted the food supply chain and threatened food security in many regions, he said.