Tewari for enhanced regional cooperation to strengthen economy

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Tewari: SAARC a platform for cooperation
Chandigarh, Sept 7: Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting Manish Tewari on Saturday appealed to SAARC countries to put aside their "little differences" so as to reap greater demographic dividends, not only in political terms, but also to strengthen the economy.

Inaugurating the 12th apex body meet of the South Asian Association of Regional Cooperation (SAARC) engineers' forum here on Saturday, Tewari called for enhanced cooperation to ensure that the region became an economic powerhouse. Maintaining that South Asia, which is home to 2/5ths of humanity, had unparalleled human resources, Tewrai said the region would become prosper economically, "provided we are able to put our little differences aside".

"I think SAARC possibly represents the most unique opportunity where regional cooperation in the years to come will not only pave the way for creation of the South Asian identity, but would also ensure that we are able to leverage our human resources," Tewari said.

Tewari said India had always maintained that it not only wanted to see SAARC strengthened in political terms, but "would also like to see SAARC augmented in economic terms" as well. Referring to the reconstruction of Afghanistan following the departure of international forces, and the developments in Myanmar towards peace and prosperity, Tewari said, "The engineering community of Asia possibly has a unique set of opportunities, available right in the neighbourhood. We can help those fellow nations who are in need of our expertise." 

Tewaru: SAARC an oppurtunity to leverage our human resources

Maintaining that South Asia still has its own set of challenges of illiteracy, poverty and unemployment and emerging problems of climate change and use of water resources, Tewari said, states and people with access to knowledge must utilise it for the upliftment of humanity. "I think we have been presented with a unique opportunity whereby the development of the SAARC region would not only benefit South Asia, but also serve as a bridge between Central Asia and South East Asia," he said.

Earlier, he said that after its creation in 1985, SAARC's growth might have been gradual but it had been steady and had seen enhanced cooperation among the member countries. The Minister said despite the region's convoluted legacy, the nations could collectively face the common challenges.

Congratulating the SAARC Diploma Engineers' Forum for organising the event at Chandigarh, the Ludhiana MP said he had invited the organisation members to Delhi to discuss certain issues the body is facing in India.  Representatives from SAARC member countries will exchange technical know-how, expertise and educational material at the three-day meet, organised by the All India Federation of Diploma Engineers.

PTI

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