Manila (Philippines), May 5 (UNB) - The 12th informal meeting of Saarc Finance Ministers was held here on Friday underscoring the need for concerted efforts to attain the objectives of South Asian Economic Union.
The meeting was held on the sidelines of the 51st Annual Meeting of Asian Development Bank.
Finance Minister AMA Muhith attended the meeting while India was represented by its Finance Secretary.
The meeting, attended by finance ministers, heads of delegations from the Saarc member states, was held under the chairmanship of Finance Minister of Nepal Yuba Raj Khatiwada.
The Chairman thanked the ADB for its continued support to Saarc.
He also commended excellent arrangements made by the Saarc Secretariat and ADB for the meeting.
Khatiwada underscored that concerted efforts should be made to attain the objective of South Asian Economic Union in a phased manner as desired by Saarc leaders.
The Secretary General of Saarc, Amjad Hussain B Sial, made a statement on “Review of Progress in Transition to South Asian Economic Union”.
He underlined that the member states may make sincere efforts for implementing the objective of achieving South Asian Economic Union, as envisioned by the Saarc leaders.
Amjad recalled that in order to enable Saarc to achieve regional economic integration, the ADB agreed to provide support to Saarc in economic integration studies, infrastructure, connectivity and energy.
He appreciated the important contribution of the ADB in various areas of regional economic cooperation under the framework of Saarc and hoped that ADB would continue to do so for the economic development of the South Asian region.
Wencai Zhang, Vice President of Asian Development Bank briefed the meeting about the status of collaboration between ADB and Saarc.
He reaffirmed ADB’s commitment to continue collaboration with Saarc for economic development and prosperity of the people in the region.
The finance ministers and heads of delegation briefed the meeting about the current status of economic progress achieved by them, appreciated the contribution made by the ADB in their economic growth.
They hoped that Saarc would make further progress to achieve its full potential for the benefit of people of the region.
ADB expert Lei Lei Song made a presentation on “Artificial Intelligence Anxiety? Technology and Jobs for South Asia”, which is one of the critical contemporary economic issues affecting the Saarc countries.