Tenth South Asia Economic Summit begins in Nepal
By Shirish B Pradhan
Kathmandu, Nov 14 The tenth South Asia Economic Summit kicked off in Nepal today with an aim to deepen economic integration and attaining inclusive and sustainable growth in the sub-region.
The three-day regional summit is being organised by National Planning Commission of Nepal’s Ministry of Commerce in collaboration with the South Asia Watch on Trade, Economics and Environment.
The main objective of the summit is to identify and prioritise challenges and opportunities in deepening regional economic integration for attaining goals of inclusive and sustainable growth for South Asia.
Over 200 delegates, including ministers, members of Parliament, top government officials, diplomats, planners and think tanks from the South Asian countries are attending the summit.
A host of speakers addressed the inaugural session of the summit and stressed on the need for enhancing connectivity, developing better infrastructure facilities, increasing intra-regional trade and reducing trade barriers, a statement said.
They also highlighted the need to ensure food and energy security and promoting cooperation in tourism, trade, energy generation, climate change among the member countries for attaining inclusive and sustainable growth in the region.
South Asia is known as the least integrated region in the world mainly due to lack of connectivity and inadequate availability of infrastructure, experts at the summit pointed out, the statement said.
Intra-regional trade and investment among the South Asian countries is just five per cent of the total trade and investment of South Asian countries with other countries, which necessitates more collaboration and increasing connectivity among the countries of the region, the speakers said.
The summit includes 18 different sessions in which a wide range of issues including regional trade potentials, energy generation, cooperation on power trade, collaboration for reducing disaster impact and employment generation will be discussed.
The main objective of the summit is to help the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) grouping to process on economic development.