Saarc finance ministers meet in Dhaka Monday
Finance ministers from the Saarc nations will meet in Dhaka on Monday to further expand regional cooperation in economic and financial sectors.
The daylong meeting also aims at setting out the benchmarks to establish a customs union and leading subsequently towards an economic union; and ensuring greater integration, harmonisation and standardisation of the financial systems.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will inaugurate the Fifth Meeting of Saarc Finance Ministers at Ruposhi Bangla Hotel, said foreign ministry sources.
Prior to this meet, the eight finance secretaries from the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (Saarc) nations will hold another meeting tomorrow.
Finance ministers from all the Saarc member states excepting Indian Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee will attend the meeting.
India will be represented by State Minister for Finance Namo Narain Meena, mentioned the ministry sources.
The ministers are expected to discuss greater flow of financial matter, cooperation in financial and economic sectors, investment, global financial crisis, new and imaginative credit mechanism, incentives to support regional business and customs cooperation.
They will outline priority steps to be taken at each implementation phase of South Asian Economic Union and quantify potential gains from strengthened economic integration in the region.
The finance ministers will issue guidelines to move forward project-based regional cooperation, Saarc Development Fund (SDF) and implement fully the Saarc Preferential Trading Agreement (SAPTA).
Headquartered in Thimpu, the SDF is now implementing some regional and sub-regional projects, foreign ministry officials noted.
Though having a modest initial paid-up capital of $300 million, the SDF has provoked excitement and interest among a wide range of stakeholders in the region to come forward with innovative solutions.
The Saarc, mooted in Dhaka in 1985, is comprised of Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.