Ambassador of Pakistan to China Masood Khan has appealed to the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) for its support not only in the current phase of relief, recovery and rehabilitation of flood affectees, but also even in more critical phase of reconstruction. He said this while delivering a speech on the occasion of Shanghai Cooperation Organization Day and Regional Economic Cooperation Forum at the Urumqi Foreign Economic Relations & Trade Fair. The Fair is being held in Urumqi, Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. The SCO Day and Regional Economic Cooperation Forum was held with an aim to boost regional economic cooperation of the SCO and to promote exchanges and cooperation among the industrial and business circles of the member states, observer states, and dialogue partners. Briefing the participants on the floods in his country, the Ambassador said that Pakistan was dealing with the consequences of the worst floods in living memory. He thanked the SCO Secretary General and SCO member states for expressing their solidarity with the people of Pakistan and providing relief assistance. Ambassador Khan conveyed his special gratitude to Ministry of Commerce of China and Xinjiang Government for sending a special humanitarian consignment to Gilgit-Baltistan. He pointed out that some 20 million people have been affected out of which more than 8 million are in need of immediate attention. Houses, roads, bridges, schools, hospitals have been destroyed and standing crops of rice, sugarcane, and cotton have been inundated, he added. Masood Khan said that Pakistani nation is facing this challenge with determination and resilience, however it needs the continued support of SCO member states and the international community. Pakistan, Ambassador Masood Khan said constitutes a natural link between the SCO and the Eurasian heartland. He said that Pakistan is developing its own North-South Trade and Energy Corridor which it hopes to connect with the SCO member states. The Pakistan Ambassador further said that the Karakorum Highway (KKH) connects Pakistan with the western region of China and Central Asia and to make this link more productive, Pakistan is upgrading sea ports of Karachi, Gwadar and Bin Qasim. A rail link between Pakistan and China is under study. The Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan (TAP) pipeline project is being revived. Energy pipelines across Pakistan-China border are being explored, Masood Khan said. This Forum will help us to identify the areas of cooperation, enhance awareness about this regions needs, and suggest modalities to achieve greater economic integration of the SCO Member and Observer states, he added. The Urumqi Trade Fair is Chinas only trade fair with a focus on Central, West and South Asia. The State Councillor Liu Yandong at the opening of the Fair on September 1 announced that the it will be upgraded to a state-level expo next year to enhance Chinas ties with the neighbouring countries. In his speech, the Pakistan Ambassador said that for deepening cooperation and for pursuing sustainable development for the SCO region, it is imperative that we have a stable and secure political, economic and social environment. Masood Khan went on to say that SCO is a platform for reviving the ancient Silk Road which will connect Chinas eastern ports to Central, South, and West Asia, as well as the Middle East and Western Europe. The Urumqi Trade Fair, the largest this year, has 117 booths booked by businessmen from 22 countries and regions, including Pakistan, Iran, Russia, Turkey and Kazakhstan. The number of booths are 60% more than last year and the fair covers a floor space of 30,000 square meters. In addition, there are 712 booths for domestic trade groups. The Fair concluded on September 3 with the final activity being the Inter-Bank Consortium of Shanghai Cooperation Organization.