Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has said that the interdependence calls for a greater cohesion amongst the SAARC member states for working together for economic prosperity in the region to eradicate poverty, illiteracy and other social evils.
While addressing as chief guest at the opening session of SAARC conference Friday, he stated the increasing interdependence and the shared goals and common concerns led to creation of South Asian Association of Region Cooperation (SAARC) three decades ago.
He added that by realising the commitment of the leaders we can all progress and bring economic stability and prosperity including social uplifts for our generations.
South Asian leadership made a commitment to accelerate the economic growth, social progress and cultural development of our region.
Promoting the welfare and improving the quality of life of the people of south Asia was the key idea behind this thinking, the PM said.
“The interdependence calls for an ever greater cohesion among the SAARC member states and South Asia is a region of vast opportunities endowed with abundant human and natural resources.
Its untapped wealth and under-utilised resources provide opportunities for development and prosperity of region to optimally harness this potential for the peace and prosperity of our people.
SAARC provides a platform to collectively work for making the region free of economical strengths and social ills”, he added.
Pakistan, he said, remains committed to jointly working with the national governments of the SAARC member states in changing the economic landscape of the South Asian region to get people out of the clutches of poverty, illiteracy and other social ills.
The Prime Minister added that Pakistan is ready to contribute in fulfilling the hopes and aspirations of the people in the region.
He added that despite numerous challenges, SAARC has made progress in promoting greater regional integration for making the organisation more efficient, practical and responsive to the expectations of our people.
All of us SAARC members states, the SAARC Secretariat and its regional centers and specialised bodies need to make co-ordinated, sustained and resolute efforts.
He expressed the hope that valuable recommendations prepared by the meeting of SAARC finance secretaries on a range of areas like customs cooperation, avoidance of double taxation, the current status of economic and financial cooperation in the region including the overall outlook of the SAARC Economies will be followed.
An impact of global economic situations in the South Asia region will definitely provide more meaning to the SAARC economies.
The outcome of this meeting will complement the agenda of the 19th SAARC summit being hosted by Pakistan in Islamabad on the 9th and 10th of November 2016.
The Prime Minister stated that in this era of globalisation the world’s focus is on finding regional solutions to common problems for the economic and social progress of the masses.
He added that increasing connectivity, ease in communication, freer trade and finding solutions to hunger, poverty and foods in security have helped the world to enhance regional and sub-regional cooperation.
The trans-boundary effects of climate change, spread of diseases, economic spillover and social evils are being countered by joint strategies at the regional level, he added.
Nawaz Shairf stated that Pakistan believes there are SAARC solutions to regional issues by fully supporting all initiatives taken at the SAARC platform, its ideals and objectives as enshrined in its charter, the social charter and the developmental goals will be the way forward.
We have also been a strong advocate for stepping up regional efforts to ensure energy security through sharing of indigenous sources of energy, he added.
“We believe that SAARC must position itself to engage interested states and international organisations to develop win-win complementarities for social and economic progress in the region,” he said, adding that Pakistan has made good progress in bringing economic stability in the country and continued with reform agenda. -Business Recorder