Turkish exports to Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) member countries have skyrocketed, increasing 85% over the last five years, according to an Anadolu Agency (AA) report on the eve of the SCO meeting in Astana this week.

Accordingly, the exports from Türkiye to these countries surged from a value of $14.1 billion (TL 459.3 billion) in 2019 to nearly $26.1 billion in 2023.

The share of these countries in Türkiye’s overall exports last year was 10%.

Türkiye’s imports from SCO member countries reached $106.3 billion last year, around double the $55.6 billion total in 2019.

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and other officials, including Energy and Natural Resources Minister Alparslan Bayraktar, Treasury and Finance Minister Mehmet Şimsek, Trade Minister Ömer Bolat, and chief advisor on foreign policy and security to the president, Ambassador Akif Çağatay Kılıç, are attending the two-day summit in the capital of Kazakhstan.

In addition to energy agreements made by the SCO member states, which control a significant portion of the world’s natural gas reserves, the benefits of transportation and infrastructure projects connecting the countries are also noteworthy.

In this context, Türkiye is participating in China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) project.

In addition, an agreement on a China-Kyrgyzstan-Uzbekistan railway project, which is planned to be built under the initiative, was signed last month.

Türkiye’s recent development of political relations with the SCO member countries, which consist of nearly half of the world’s population, has brought about positive commercial and economic repercussions.

The SCO was founded in 2001 with Russia, China and Central Asian powers and later included India, Iran and Pakistan. Its latest addition includes Belarus, which on Thursday formally joined the organization to become its 10th member state. There are two other observer states, Afghanistan and Mongolia, and 14 dialogue partners, including Türkiye.

Before Erdoğan visited the summit, the president had contacts with the countries members, including his trip to Russia last September. Last year, he also visited Kazakhstan to attend the 10th summit of the Organization of Turkic States (OTS) and Uzbekistan to attend the 16th Summit of the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO).

As part of the prominent visits at the ministerial level, Industry and Technology Minister Mehmet Fatih Kacır held contacts in China in the last month of last year. Later, in May, Türkiye’s energy and foreign ministers also visited China and held high-level meetings.

Turkish delegation at the SCO Astana summit has since Wednesday held multiple talks with other attendees and delegations, including an inter-delegation meeting with Russia, a trilateral Azerbaijan-Türkiye-Pakistan meeting, a delegation meeting with Qatar, in addition to other ministerial contacts.

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