Chinese Premier of the State Council Li Keqiang put forward a proposal to develop specific measures to create a free trade zone within the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) and accelerate the exchange of goods and services by 2020.

“Right now… we’ve agreed that we will instruct trade and economy ministers to work out specific measures to set up a free trade area within the SCO framework to create more favourable conditions for trade,” Li said Tuesday, speaking at an expanded meeting of the SCO Council of Heads of Government.

Moreover, Beijing offers to take advantage of the opportunities created by a specially created working group on trade facilitation in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, to ensure that the free movement of goods, services and technologies will be implemented by 2020, he added.

SCO activity gained a broad economic dimension in September 2003, when members signed a 20-year Program of Multilateral Trade and Economic Cooperation. The program set a long-term goal of establishing a free trade zone within the SCO, and a short-term goal of providing a favourable environment for trade and investment.