The Twelfth Informal Meeting of SAARC Finance Ministers was held in Manila, the Philippines, on 04 May 2018 on the sidelines of the 51st Annual Meeting of Asian Development Bank. The Meeting, attended by the Hon’ble Finance Ministers/Heads of Delegations from the SAARC Member States, was held under the Chairmanship of Hon’ble Finance Minister of Nepal, H. E. Mr. Yuba Raj Khatiwada.
In his opening statement, the Chairman thanked ADB for its continuous support to SAARC. He also commended excellent arrangements made by SAARC Secretariat and ADB for the Meeting. He underscored that concerted efforts should be made to attain the objective of South Asian Economic Union, in phased manner, as desired by the leaders of SAARC.
The Secretary General of SAARC, H.E. Mr. Amjad Hussain B. Sial, made a statement on “Review of Progress in Transition to South Asian Economic Union” and underlined that the Member States may make sincere efforts for implementing the objective of achieving South Asian Economic Union, as envisioned by the Leaders of SAARC. He recalled that in order to enable SAARC to achieve regional economic integration, ADB had agreed to provide support to SAARC in: (i) economic integration studies; (ii) infrastructure; (iii) connectivity; and (iv) energy. He appreciated the important contribution of ADB in various areas of regional economic cooperation under the framework of SAARC and hoped that ADB would continue to do so for the economic development of the South Asian region.
Mr. Wencai Zhang, Vice President of Asian Development Bank briefed the Meeting about the status of collaboration between ADB and SAARC. He reaffirmed ADB’s commitment to continue collaboration with SAARC for economic development and prosperity of the peoples in the region.
The Finance Ministers/Heads of Delegation briefed the Meeting about the current status of economic progress achieved by them, appreciated the contribution made by ADB in their economic growth and hoped that SAARC would make further progress to achieve its full potential for the benefit of peoples of the region.
Mr. Lei Lei Song, ADB expert made a presentation on “Artificial Intelligence Anxiety? Technology and Jobs for South Asia” which is one of the criticial contemporary economic issues affecting the SAARC Countries.
Kathmandu, 04 May 2018