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.
- 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.