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Finance ministers meeting today

SAARC finance ministers meeting today

Published: August 20, 2015 10:04 am On: Business

Kathmandu, August 19

The finance ministers of South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) countries are meeting tomorrow to discuss the agenda on mutual economic cooperation. SAARCFINANCE, currency swap and use of SAARC Development Fund (SDF) for infrastructure development, among others. On the eve of the seventh SAARC Finance Ministers’ Meeting, Finance Minister Ram Sharan Mahat met Indian Minister of State for Finance Jayant Sinha today. According to the Ministry of Finance (MoF), during the meeting Mahat and Sinha discussed about common use of currency for trade, increasing bilateral investment, trade and the construction of Kathmandu-Tarai Fast Track road.

After the meeting, Mahat said they talked about numerous significant issues, including upgrading of SDF. He also said that India has shown readiness to provide support to build the Fast Track road. Similarly, Sinha said that India was interested in bilateral trade facilitation and to support Nepal in the construction of the Fast Track road. A technical meeting of SAARC finance secretaries was held today as part of the preparations to make necessary recommendations to SAARC finance ministers’ meet. Agenda of the meeting include mutual economic cooperation, establishment of SAARC Development Bank, SDF’s utilisation in infrastructure projects, common currency among the member nations, progress review on implementation of recommendation of sixth SAARC finance ministerial meeting held in Colombo 2013, intra-regional long-term investment and SAARCFINANCE,as per MoF.However, the SAARC finance ministers are less likely to reach a common agreement on setting up SAARC Development Bank envisaged to finance large infrastructure projects due to establishment of similar nature of banks like Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank.Tomorrow’s gathering is scheduled to be inaugurated by Prime Minister Sushil Koirala.

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