China will offer a loan of $10 billion to members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) to promote economic development within the security grouping, President Hu Jintao announced here on Thursday.

The loan will also be used to aid the development of SCO members, Mr. Hu said while addressing an SCO summit here.

He also said that China will help train 1,500 experts from other members over the next three years. It is also going to provide 30,000 government scholarships and invite 10,000 Confucius Institute teachers and students to come to China for research and study over the next decade.

“We should build the SCO into a driving force to boost regional economic development,” he said.

He urged all SCO members to work hard in constructing infrastructure like railways, roads, aviation, power grids and telecommunications to promote regional connectivity.

The Chinese president also called for the establishment of a development bank, food security cooperation mechanism, energy club and seed banks, and for the promotion of trade and investment facilitation.

All members should also increase their future economic competitiveness, said Mr. Hu, adding that they should step up their cooperation in technology, culture, education and medicine.

The Beijing-based SCO was founded in Shanghai on June 15, 2001, and currently has six full members — China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. India, Pakistan, Iran and Mongolia have the observer status in the SCO.

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