English | Dzongkha Friday, September 25, 2020

35th SAARC Charter Day

Dec 9, 2019

The member states of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation have an important role to play in enhancing regional integration and economic cooperation. The CEO of the SAARC Development Fund highlighted this yesterday while marking the 35th SAARC Charter day.

According to the SAARC Development Fund, South Asia is one of the least integrated regions in the world. Intra-regional trade accounts for less than five per cent of South Asia’s total trade compared to 25 per cent in ASEAN.

Intra-regional investment is less than one per cent of overall investment. With greater cooperation in trade and investment, economic integration and people to people interaction, intra-regional trade in goods in South Asia could reach up to a potential of USD 50 billion.  

To integrate the SAARC member countries, SAARC Development Fund is implementing 92 regional projects and there are a few agreements pending to be signed such as the BBIN Motor Vehicle Agreement, Railways agreement and Air Services agreements.

“Agreements require the political will of the member countries. Some countries have signed it, some countries are yet to sign. So there is a need to have a consensus. As per the SAARC magnesium, everything decided on a consensus basis. So the consensus is required. I hope in the near future there are going to sign it and very soon we are going to have a SAARC passenger and ferry services which are going to be introduced very shortly and economic union is very important for that,” said Dr Sunil Motiwal

To mark the day, the foreign ministry and other dignitaries gathered and offered butter lamps at the Changangkha Lhakhang today afternoon.

The Foreign Minister said as a founding member and a country that deeply values its membership to the Association, Bhutan has always strived to participate and contribute to the SAARC process to the best of her abilities.

The SAARC Charter was signed on the 8th of December in 1985 by the heads of states and governments of the SAARC countries to foster mutual understanding, friendship and cooperation for peace and prosperity in the region.

Phub Gyem

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