Kathmandu, June 27, 2013 (PPI-OT): With the view of promoting trade and economic collaboration within South Asia, SAARC Secretariat and Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH signed a long-term Memorandum of Understanding amidst a special function held at the Secretariat today. His Excellency Ahmed Saleem, SAARC Secretary General and Dr. Roland F. Steurer, Country Director GIZ Nepal, signed the MoU on behalf of their respective institutions.
Both the Secretariat and GIZ – the latter commissioned by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) – have recognized the tremendous implications of facilitating economic integration and trade promotion towards economic prosperity, peace and stability in the region – home to more than one-fifth of the world’s population.
To this end, the MoU highlights the importance of removing technical and non-technical trade and other barriers, particularly in cooperation with business membership and public organizations to facilitate intra and inter-regional trade and promote economic collaboration in the SAARC Region.
Welcoming the distinguished guests that included high government officials, ambassadors and public/private sector members of the eight SAARC nations, Amrit Lugun, Secretariat Director, remarked that the MoU signing not only highlights the long-standing German support to SAARC and South Asia but also opens the prospects for donors and other developments partners to engage meaningfully with the Secretariat and the region.
His Excellency Frank Meyke, Ambassador of Germany, highlighted the commitment of the Government of Germany towards supporting economic integration in South Asia as a prerequisite for growth and development. Based on the German experiences in the formation of the European Union, the Ambassador stressed the important role that a strengthened SAARC Secretariat could play for further economic integration of its member states. Aimed at welfare, peace and prosperity of South Asia, the German government sees itself partnering closely in the region on long-term basis, the Ambassador added.
Speakers on the occasion – His Excellency Glenn White, Ambassador of Australia; HE Saleem and Dr. Steurer – stressed the importance of South Asian intraregional economic cooperation. Zubair Malik, President, Federation of Pakistan Chamber of Commerce and Industries, and member of SAARC-TPN congratulated this initiative of GIZ and further stressed on the necessity to involve private sector to speed up regional economic cooperation in SAARC.
Horst Ammann, Programme Manager of GIZ SAARC Trade Promotion Network lauded the efforts of the SAARC Secretariat, AusAID and GIZ coming together and expressed optimism that more development partners would join the bandwagon to support the intra-SAARC economic collaboration.
For more information, contact:
Syed Masood Alam Rizvi
Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI)
B-1, Federation House, Main Clifton Road,
Tel: 0092-21-35873691, 93-94
Fax: +9221 3587 4332