Pak to attend SAARC meet in India

A Pakistani business delegation under the aegis of the SAARC Chamber of Commerce and Industry will leave for India on June 30 to participate in the SAARC Development Fund (SDF) Partnership Conclave 2018, according to a media report here today.
The three-day conclave to be held from July 1 in New Delhi is aimed at strategic growth in the South Asia region through project collaboration and regional integration, the official Associated Press of Pakistan news agency reported.
Talking to a delegation of traders from Islamabad, SAARC Chamber of Commerce and Industry Senior Vice President Iftikhar Ali Malik said the conclave proposes to solicit cross-border project co-financing under the social, economic and infrastructure windows of SDF in SAARC member states.
The thematic concepts to be discussed during the conclave for funding would be energy, transportation, ICT, trade and commerce, agriculture and allied sectors, and poverty alleviation, among others, a press release quoted him as saying.
Malik said that SDF is currently implementing 12 regional projects with more than 70 implementing and lead implementing agencies covering all the eight Member States under the Social Window funding.
“We have already committed USD 73.74 million for social window projects as of date out of which it has disbursed USD 47 million to the Member States for Social Window projects.
The visit of the Pakistani business delegation will take place amidst a chill in bilateral ties.
Ties between India and Pakistan touched rock-bottom after a series of militant attacks in Jammu and Kashmir in 2016.
India also boycotted the SAARC summit to be held in Islamabad in 2016.
The Thimphu-based SDF was established by the heads of the eight SAARC Member States — Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka — in April 2010 to promote peoples’ welfare in the region, improve their quality of life, and accelerate economic growth, social progress and poverty alleviation.