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SAARC nations resolve to set up South Asian Economic Union

At the two-day SAARC summit, leaders of the regional grouping held elaborate discussion on exploiting untapped potential of trade and decided to work with a renewed vigour to remove the bottlenecks to make the region a thriving hub of trade and commerce.

“The leaders renewed their commitment to achieve South Asian Economic Union (SAEU) in a phased and planned manner through a Free Trade Area, a Customs Union, a Common Market, and a Common Economic and Monetary Union,” a declaration issued at the end of the summit said.

To facilitate increased trade, the leaders also favoured streamlining and simplification of customs procedures, elimination of non-tariff and para-tariff barriers and setting up of a smooth and efficient transit and transport facilities.

They also called for early operationalisation of SATIS (SAARC Agreement on Trade in Services) which is expected to spur growth in a significant way.

The leaders directed for collaboration and engagement among public authorities and private stakeholders in the member states to lower telephone tariff rates and called for rationalisation of the tariff structures.

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