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India Leading Effort on SAARC Currency Swap Agreement

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By A Correspondent

India is spearheading an initiative to develop a currency swap agreement among SAARC countries which would help them protect their currencies during special exigencies, Foreign Secretary Ranjan Mathai says.

“India is spearheading efforts to finalise an agreement for SAARC central banks to establish a currency swap arrangement as a baseline measure that would provide funds to SAARC states to defend their currencies when faced by special exigencies,” he said here.

The Foreign Secretary was addressing a conference on economic integration of SAARC countries.

He said the integration of SAARC economies was “not only important but it is an imperative for all of us South Asians if we want to face challenges facing our region and if we want to meet the aspirations of our people.”

On the issue of protecting investments made by the member nations in the region, Mathai said, “Policies are made by each country based on their laws but once we have policies in place which are in line with international practices, we should not allow non-economic considerations to affect in functioning of commercial entities in each others’ country.”

To a suggestion on having a multilateral investment protection agreement, he said “it is timely and relevant. India remains steadfast in support to SAARC.” On the SAARC agreement to develop a food security reserve, he said that “currently India has to hold reserves of 3 lakh metric tonnes of food including both wheat and rice out of the 4.86 lakh metric tonnes envisaged in the group as a whole.”

The reserve would be used to provide help to member nations during food emergencies.

[Source: PTI]

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