SAARC Development Fund’s 6th counterpart meeting underway in Maldives

Maldivian Economic Minister Fayyaz Ismail (CL) at the inaugural session of the sixth counterpart meeting of SAARC Development Fund on October 23, 2019. (Photo/SAARC Development Fund)

The SAAR Development Fund (SDF)’s sixth counterpart meeting has begun in Male’.

SDF’s sixth counterpart meeting began in Male’ last Wednesday, and will continue until Friday, October 25.

It is being partaken by officials from finance ministries of eight SAARC member states; Maldives, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

The meeting is focused on review and discussion of key issues to further promote regional integration and economic cooperation among SAARC member states.

The inaugural session of the meeting on Wednesday was attended by Maldivian Economic Minister Fayyaz Ismail, who reiterated his commitment to strengthening Maldives’ interaction with SDF, and increasing SDF’s assistance and projects in Maldives.

He also announced plans to propose more projects originating from Maldives for co-financing by SDF.

Some of the key points which have been discussed include potential projects for co-financing in the areas of energy, infrastructure such as roads and railways, agriculture, waste management, tourism and export of marine products.

The participants also discussed SDF’s current challenges in terms of its loan pricing and lending requirements.

They are scheduled to review the status and achievements of ongoing SDF-funded projects in their respective states, and discuss the challenges in implementation of the projects over the course of the meeting.

SDF was founded in 2010 by heads of the eight SAARC member states. It is mandated to build regional integration and economic cooperation through project funding in all SAARC member states.

It has issued USD 48.37 million in funding to SAARC member states so far.