Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said only 6 percent of foreign tourists in India are from the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation countries and this number could easily be “doubled” as he underlined the need to boost tourism among members of the grouping.
Speaking at the restricted session of the SCO summit, Modi said increasing awareness of the shared cultures can help boost the number of tourists. “Increasing awareness of our shared cultures can help boost this number. We will organise a SCO food festival and a Buddhist festival in India,” he said.
It is for the first time the Indian prime minister is attending the SCO summit after India, along with Pakistan, became full-fledged members of the grouping, jointly dominated by China and Russia, which has been increasingly seen as a counter to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.
Modi said India is committed to extend the full cooperation to a successful outcome of the summit. The SCO currently has eight member countries, which represents around 42 percent of the world’s population and 20 percent of the global gross domestic product.
Besides Modi, other leaders attending the summit include Chinese President Xi Jinping, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and Pakistan President Mamnoon Hussain.