Economic integration among SAARC nations will bring peace: Minister

New Delhi, Sep 30 (IANS) Economic integration among the SAARC nations would contribute in maintaining peace and harmony among the countries, Power Minister Piyush Goyal said on Wednesday.

“Economic integration (among SAARC countries) not just leads to inclusive growth of the people living in these countries but also contribute in maintaining peace and harmony among nations,” he said while addressing the South Asian Economic Conclave organised by the CII.

The minister said regional cooperation has become the “mantra of the day” to expand businesses.

“The SAARC countries have shared heritage which can become the base of knowledge sharing, trade and commerce among them,” he said.

Goyal said India has progressed in bilateral energy cooperation with Bangladesh, Bhutan and Nepal and efforts were on for similar engagements with Sri Lanka.

Goyal also advocated for the countries under the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) to support each other in meeting power-related challenges and to bridge the deficits caused by resource crunch.

The minister said India has assured full support to fast-track the establishment of a 500 MW power plant in Sri Lanka, besides assuring the Maldives of all support to promote renewable energy development in the island nation.

Stating that developed countries should bear a large part of the burden for emissions reduction as per the ‘polluter pays principle’, Goyal said the South Asian countries should also come together for the reduction of carbon emissions and greenhouse gases.

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