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ADB chief welcomes cooperation among South Asian countries

Written by: Staff
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Hyderabad, May 3 (UNI) Describing as ''important initiative'' the scheduled informal meeting of Finance Ministers of South Asian region, Asian Development Bank Chairman Haruhiko Kuroda today opined that internal or external conflicts in the region should not not impede the Financie Ministers from accelerating economic growth within the region.

Citing the example of the European Union, he told a press conference here that less advanced countries of a region would tend to gain more benefit from regional cooperation and integration.

''The Bank is prepared to support any regional infrastructure project by the member countries'', he said, adding the bank was keen on facilitating a dialogue among Finance Ministers of the region and also provide technical assistance to members of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation(SAARC) as requested, for achieving concrete results.

He said the countries of the region had decided to hold meetings of the Finance Ministers regularly to increase regional cooperation, he said, adding that regional cooperation and integration would help reduce disparities within and outside a country.

Stressing the need for creation of jobs, particularly in rural areas, he observed that job creation was crucial for reducing poverty, he underscored the need for a better investment climate without which private sector investment might not not reach the level to sustain growth. Unless infrastructure was improved the private investment will not not improve significantly.

In this context, he said the International community had a responsibility to assist developing countries to generate enough jobs to reduce poverty.

UNI SM VV JS1525

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