BEIJING: The ongoing Zhongguancun (ZGC) Forum in Beijing organized the First Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Countries Parallel Forum Session, calling bloc countries to cooperate closely to tackle common challenges like the COVID-19 pandemic. Rumman Ahmad, permanent representative of Pakistan to the SCO Secretariat, said the organization has become an excellent and promising platform for all member states to promote pragmatic and inclusive cooperation in all fields of mutual interest including digital economy and trade. Li Junjie, executive deputy district head of Haidian in Beijing, said that industries of SCO members are highly complementary from the technological innovation perspective. Some members have world-leading technologies in aviation, space and nuclear energy. “We see that SCO countries are opening up new growth opportunities and fostering new growth drivers. In the era of globalization, openness and innovation are an irresistible historical trend,” Li said. He said Haidian, which hosts ZGC sci-tech park, is an innovation and development hub. With cooperation among SCO members, a new model of open and innovative cooperation will be created to foster new growth drivers. O. Tuychiev, deputy minister of innovative development of the Republic of Uzbekistan, said the COVID-19 pandemic, which led to a sharp reduction in trade and economic ties, recession, rise in unemployment, has affected the dynamics of development. “This global challenge can be overcome by preserving and enhancing our traditions of good neighborliness, equality, trust and interests of each other. Today, more than ever, it is important to strengthen the ‘Shanghai Spirit’ — this unique experience of multilateral cooperation,” Tuychiev said. According to Tuychiev, the Uzbek-Chinese pharmaceutical technology park in the Tashkent region, which is among the infrastructure projects under Uzbekistan-China cooperation, creates an innovative platform and a competitive environment for scientific and innovative activities. This year marks the 20th anniversary of the establishment of SCO, which has made great achievements. At the session, firms and organizations from bloc countries inked a joint initiative vowing to support innovative enterprises in science and technology to expand to or set foot in other SCO states, and provide better conditions and an inclusive environment for collaborative work on new technology and technology transfer. The 2021 ZGC forum from Sept. 24 to 28, themed “intelligence, health, and carbon neutrality,” is hosting more than 60 events, including meetings, exhibitions, research achievement releases, competitions in hi-tech fields, and technology trading.