Saarc summit to focus on theme of connectivity

- POST REPORT, Kathmandu
Saarc summit to focus on theme of connectivity

Aug 14, 2014-

An advisory committee to recommend the theme of the forthcoming 18th Saarc Summit has adopted and recommended “Connectivity for Shared Responsibility” as the central theme of the summit. Kathmandu is hosting the 18th Saarc Summit in November.  

A meeting of the committee headed by former ambassador Bhekh Bahadur Thapa on Thursday agreed on adopting the theme, also recommended by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Previous Saarc summits have raised the issues of connectivity for economic prosperity in the region several times but since it has not been implemented we decided to push it again, said Thapa. The theme, after being approved by the Cabinet, will be circulated to member states for consent.

“Connectivity by road, rail, waterways and airways are key for regional integration and have been widely discussed in many platforms in the past. Easing the visa process among the member states is the key in this respect. Given the gravity of the issue, we have recommended the government to adopt connectivity as its central theme,” said Thapa. Several studies have revealed that the Saarc region is one of the least integrated regions in terms of connectivity, people to people contact, and in intra- inter regional trade prospects.

Since the early 1990s, however, several attempts have been initiated to boost South Asian economic integration through a number of trade pacts at the bilateral, sub-regional, and multilateral levels but have had below par results, a study carried out by the Saarc mentions. The Thapa-led committee also recommended the government to push for effective implementation of past declarations.

Cultural, energy and exchanges of various walks of lives have also been stressed in various other Saarc forums.

Published: 15-08-2014 09:21

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