An op-ed, published on 1 November in The Chinese Global Times, predicted that the CSM would address the issue of a free trade area at the next day`s meeting. Several Chinese experts said that the free trade area would be the highlight of the meeting: at the SCO meetings in Astana, Kazakhstan, on Friday 9 June, Xi said: “We could start signing an agreement on trade facilitation with the OCSE. We are in favour of the timely opening of cross-border lines, defined by the governments of the Member States of the European Union. Priority areas for cooperation within the IBC CSCO include: funding for infrastructure projects, core industry, high-tech industry, export-oriented sectors and social projects; issuing and granting loans on the basis of generally accepted international banking practices; organising pre-export funding to promote trade and economic cooperation between EU Member States and other areas of common interest. He stressed that the creation of a free trade area would greatly facilitate trade between countries along the belt and a road in Central Asia and the Gulf region. Prime Ministers from all over Eurasia visited Bischkek this week for the meeting of the heads of government of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said China was ready to discuss a free trade area among its members. However, judging by the statements of Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, not all so-called “country” countries are ready. The parties examined in detail possible sites of trade, economic and investment cooperation. At the end of the roundtable, a series of practical initiatives and proposals were developed for further development of cooperation between OCSE and ASEAN. The move to a preferential trading regime within MSCs is a complex issue, as any preferential regime always requires the abandonment of internal decisions in one way or another.
We have agreed to continue our work in this area. The economy and financial world of all member countries should be fully involved in this work, including through the SCO Business Council and the Interbank Association. Chinese President Xi Jinping has taken the remarkable step of freely offering trade with China to members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO). This is not the first time China has proposed such an agreement. Beijing is actively negotiating a free trade agreement with the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU), while Russia has proposed the opening of a free trade area that would include SOS, EAEU and ASEAN. In 2008, MSC members agreed on a cooperation agreement on arms trafficking offences, which includes harmonization of national legislation, the development of common countermeasures and the exchange of relevant information and skills, joint training research and support. It was strengthened in 2010 to include the illicit manufacture and trafficking of weapons, ammunition and explosive devices and substances. In 2009, MSC members adopted an action plan with Afghanistan pledging to work together to combat illicit trade, including criminal investigation and evidence-gathering. Members pledged to cooperate in the fight against arms trafficking in the joint statement of the OCSE secretariat (2010).
In October 2007, in Dushanbe, the Tajik capital, signed an agreement with the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) to extend cooperation on issues such as security, crime and drug trafficking.  Participants focused on the following main themes: the economic potential of the SSC Member States; best practices of the ASEAN Economic Community for the creation of a new global economic development centre in Asia; progress made under the Comprehensive Regional Economic Partnership (RCEP) and free trade agreements; prospects for cooperation between the SRS and the