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COVID-19: SAARC members excluding Pakistan discuss travel restrictions impact on intra-regional trade

[#item_author]All SAARC countries, except Pakistan, participated in the video conference said Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) in a statement.

New Delhi [India], Apr 08 (ANI): Senior trade officials of South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) member countries on Wednesday held talks to discuss the impact of travel restrictions and the larger coronavirus situation on intra-regional trade.
During the meeting, it was stressed that new ways and means be jointly identified to sustain and expand the intra-regional trade until the normal trade channels are fully restored.
All SAARC countries, except Pakistan, participated in the video conference said Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) in a statement.
“Following up on PM Narendra Modi’s announcements at SAARC Leaders VC, Dept of Commerce today led SAARC senior trade officials VC to discuss the impact of COVID19 on intra-regional trade India remains committed to SAARC solidarity in the fight against COVID19,” MEA spokesperson Anurag Srivastava tweeted.
Issues like facilitation of trade through pragmatic solutions such as provisional clearance of imports at preferential duty with suitable conditions, provisional acceptance of digitally signed certificates of origin, acceptance of scanned copies of documents for clearance of imports by customs and release of payments by banks, resolving issues being faced for exports/imports at land customs stations on the land border were addressed during the conference.
“All participating countries proposed to remain in close and regular touch through a designated focal point in each country,” the statement added.
On March 15, Prime Minister Narendra Modi led the video conference with participants from the SAARC nations. PM Modi had proposed the creation of an emergency fund for the SAARC nations to combat the coronavirus pandemic and pitched India’s initial offer of USD 10 million for this fund. (ANI)

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