Participants exchanged views on the experience of ASEAN countries in the area of national economic development, including trade, investment, infrastructure development, innovation technologies and transport. Russia, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan are also members of the Eurasian Economic Union. On 23 September 2003, the CSR Member States signed a framework agreement to improve economic cooperation. At the same meeting, Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao proposed a long-term goal for the creation of a free trade area within the MSC, while more immediate measures would be taken to improve the flow of goods into the region.   One year later, on September 23, 2004, a follow-up plan for 100 specific actions was signed.  He stressed that the creation of a free trade area would greatly facilitate trade between countries along single-belt roads and a road in Central Asia and the Gulf region. 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.  While free trade succeeded in the Chinese media summaries of the meeting, security was the main point. Given that two months ago a suicide bomber attacked the Chinese embassy in Bouchkek, the focus on security was far from surprising. As Joshua Kucera for EurasiaNet explained, the version of events in the Chinese media shows Beijing taking responsibility, « and a Kyrgyzstan that was trying to make China happy. » Mr. Kucera notes that recent developments in this case have little to do, but they continue to tarnish the situation. More broadly, Devonshire-Ellis states: « Global trade flows are changing rapidly and EU and US companies need to be aware of the emergence of strong competition from India and Russia for the Chinese consumer market. » It was found that this format would allow both parties to discuss issues of common interest and to learn more about the benefits and capabilities of other participants in terms of expanding trade and investment between Member States.
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. 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 CSRs and ASEAN Member States; Online commerce; Transportation, COMPUTing and the digital industry. Chinese President Xi Jinping has taken the remarkable step of freely offering trade with China to members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO). At the same time, the CSR has started a large number of economic activities. In September 2003, the heads of state and government of the CSO Member States signed a 20-year programme for multilateral trade and economic cooperation. The long-term objective of the programme is the creation of a free trade area on the territory of the SSC Member States; In the short term, the aim is to restart the process of creating a favourable environment for trade and investment.