Areas of Cooperation

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SAARCFINANCE

 SAARCFINANCE

The SAARCFINANCE was established on 9 September 1998 as a regional network of the SAARC Central Bank Governors and Finance Secretaries.  It has been decided that two Meetings of SAARCFINANCE will be held in a year. One meeting will take place within the SAARC region, whereas the other meeting will be held on the side-lines of the Annual Meetings of the IMF and the World Bank . Since its inception 29 meetings have been held.  It is a permanent body, which got formal recognition of SAARC at the 11th SAARC Summit, held in Kathmandu, Nepal in January 2002.  The status report of SAARCFINANCE is presented by the Chair of the SAARCFINANCE to the meetings of the SAARC Finance Ministers. 

Each central bank has established a SAARCFINANCE Cell in its Research Department to coordinate the activities of SAARCFINANCE. Member central banks also appoint a Coordinator. The Coordinator of the central bank holding Chair of the SAARCFINANCE acts as the central Coordinator.

The SAARC Payment Council (SPC) has also been launched by SAARCFINANCE in 2008. At its regular meetings, the SAARCFINANCE also undertakes exchange of views on the impact of currently global financial crisis on individual South Asian economies. 

The following are the broad objectives of SAARCFINANCE:

  • To promote cooperation among central banks and finance ministries in SAARC member countries through staff visits and regular exchange of information.
  • To  consider and propose harmonization of banking legislations and practices within the region.
  • To work towards a more efficient payment system mechanism within the SAARC region and strive for higher monetary and exchange cooperation.
  • To forge closer cooperation on macro-economic policies of SAARC member states and to share experiences and ideas.
  • To  study global financial developments and their impact on the region including discussions relating to emerging issues in the financial architecture, IMF and World Bank and other international lending agencies.
  • To monitor reforms of the international financial and monetary system and to evolve a consensus among SAARC countries in respect of the reforms.
  • To evolve whenever feasible joint strategies, plan and common approaches in international fora for mutual benefit particularly in the context of liberalization of financial services.
  • To  undertake training of staff of the ministries of finance, central banks and other financial institutions of the SAARC member countries in subjects relating to economics and finance.
  • To explore networking of the training institutions within the SAARC region specializing in various aspects of monetary policy, exchange rate reforms, bank supervision and capital market issues.
  • To promote research on economic and financial issues for the mutual benefit of SAARC member countries.
  • To consider any other matter on the direction/request of the SAARCFINANCE, Council of Ministers or other SAARC bodies.

As per decision  of the 29th SAARCFINANCE Group Meeting held in Washington DC, USA, on 9th October 2014, the SAARCFINANCE Chairmanship was transferred from Nepal to Pakistan