South Asia Current Affairs

SASEC countries pledges to improve intra-regional connectivity to boost trade & tourism

India and six other South Asian countries of South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation (SASEC) have pledged to improve intra-regional connectivity to boost trade and tourism.

Decision in this regard was taken at the Finance ministers of India, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Maldives and Myanmar meeting held in New Delhi to reshape SASEC.  They also came out with the SASEC Vision for 2025 and adopted operational plan 2016-25.

Key Facts
  • SASEC Vision: It is a new strategic road map to guide the sub-region’s development through 2025.
  • It reflects member nations’ commitment to tap into latent industrial demand and promote sub-regional industry-to-industry links
  • Operational plan 2016-25: It defines the strategic objectives and operational priorities in transport, trade facilitation and energy as well as for the development of economic corridor.
  • The members are eying for $70 billion incremental GDP and 20 million jobs by 2025 so that SASEC become better, stronger and faster to make South Asia one of the fastest growing sub-regions in the world.
  • Other decisions taken in the meeting: Member countries sought to improve trade of oil and gas among themselves and also enhance road connectivity.
  • They also looked to leverage natural resources-based industries, promote industry-to-industry links and bolster connectivity to boost trade and tourism
  • They also sought to improve people-to-people contact by developing gateways and hubs to expand the sub-region’s trade and commerce to regional and global markets.

Tags:

IMF opens technical assistance and training centre SARTTAC in New Delhi  

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has opened a first-of-its-kind South Asia Training and Technical Assistance Centre (SARTTAC) in New Delhi for economic capacity building in South Asia.

It will work to support local member countries of South Asia viz. India, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal and Sri Lanka to build human and institutional capacity and implement policies for growth and poverty reduction.

About SARTTAC

  • SARTTAC is financed mainly by its six member South Asia countries (mentioned above) with additional support from Australia, South Korea, European Union and United Kingdom.
  • It strategic goal is to help its member countries strengthen their institutional and human capacity to design and implement macroeconomic and financial policies that promote growth and reduce poverty.
  • It will allow the IMF to meet more of the high demand for technical assistance and training from the region. It is expected to become the focal point for the delivery of IMF capacity development services to South Asia.
Background

In 2016, IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde and Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to establish a capacity development centre for South Asia. The opening of SARTTAC is part of the MoU and marks a major milestone in the partnership between the IMF and its member countries in the region.

Tags:

12345