4 nations aim sub-regional cooperation

  • delhi meeting
- ANIL GIRI, Kathmandu

Jan 29, 2015-

Senior officials from Nepal, India, Bhutan and Bangladesh are scheduled to be in New Delhi for a two-day meeting beginning on Friday to push for sub-regional cooperation in energy and connectivity.

Nepal did not participate in the first meeting of the series that took place in Dhaka, Bangladesh, in 2013.

The meeting will focus on exploring energy and water management projects in the region, while transport, transit, trade and connectivity issues are also likely to be taken up.

The Nepali delegation will be led by Joint-secretary at the Foreign Ministry Prakash Subedi, the division head for South Asia and India.

According to a senior ministry official, the meeting will explore and identify projects that can be cooperated among the four nations, more so after the Saarc Framework Agreement of Energy was signed during the 18th Saarc Summit held in Kathmandu last November.

“Nepal, India and Bangladesh can work together in the energy sector while there are prospects of connecting the four nations to boost trade,” the official said.

Following the framework agreement signed between the two countries during the visit of Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to Bangladesh in September 2011, the first meeting between India, Bangladesh and Bhutan under the working groups of Water and Power, and Transit and Connectivity was held in April 2013.

The meeting discussed enhancing cooperation in sharing the water of common rivers and utilising their energy potential. The second working group on transit and connectivity emphasised on implementing measures for the upgradation of road and railway networks.

In New Delhi, officials will look into immediate trilateral cooperation in trade and transit field between Nepal, India and Bangladesh through the Fulbari-Banglabandh stretch. Officials said that once the regional Saarc grid comes into effect, the entire region should be connected. Nepal is also hosting a ministerial-level symposium on energy cooperation of these four countries in April to further stimulate the sub-regional push.

This is a good beginning, said Tara Pokhrel, the ministry spokesperson. “There is optimism and renewed hope that Saarc can start implementing its commitments. Energy is the sector we can work on immediately,” he said.

 

Published: 30-01-2015 09:07

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