Thursday, August 29, 2013

SAFTA, SATIS implementation key to regional economic integration: Finance Secretary

Finance Secretary Shanta Raj Subedi stressed the need for speedy implementation of the South Asian Free Trade Agreement (SAFTA) and Agreement on Trade in Services (SATIS), and economic integration of South Asia.
He also underscored the need for the removal of Non-Tariff Barriers (NTBs) to increase the volume of trade in the South Asia region that is house to the one third of the world’s poor.
Addressing the sixth SAARC Finance Secretaries meeting in the Sri Lankan capital Colombo, today he also stressed the necessity to increase the flow of financial capital and intra-regional investment, particularly in the infrastructure sector, apart from early conclusion of the SAARC Agreement on Promotion and Protection of Investment and model SAARC Double Taxation Agreement.
Subedi highlighted the importance of economic integration in the region that is the least integrated among the regional blocks. Economic integration of South Asia can help reduce poverty in the region.
The meeting of SAARC finance secretaries is also expected to prepare a ground work for the sixth meeting of SAARC finance ministers tomorrow.
The finance secretaries also dwelt on more cooperation among the SAARC member countries to address the potential and evolving crisis in South Asia, including the volatility in the currencies, a common concern of all the South Asian countries.
Subedi, on the occasion, also proposed to held seventh SAARC Finance Secretaries meeting in Kathmandu in 2014.   

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