Foreign Secretary Bharat Raj Paudyal addressed the plenary session of the International Conference on Central and South Asia: Regional Connectivity, Challenges and Opportunities in Tashkent today.
In his address, Foreign Secretary Paudyal said that the Central and South Asia regions are the home to a quarter of the world's population and in order to realize the full potential of cooperation, connectivity through physical infrastructures as well as the soft aspects of linkages of trade and transit facilitation measures are important.
Highlighting the historical connection between South and Central Asia, Paudyal stated that the two regions were at the center of early human civilization interconnected by the vast and sophisticated network of trade and caravans that traversed through massive geographies facilitating not only the transfer of goods and merchandise but also the exchange of cultures and ideas, lessons and best practices.
Stating that for landlocked countries connectivity is the top priority for smooth and cost-effective linkage to the world market, Mr. Paudyal pointed out that we should explore areas of cooperation to enhance inter-regional trade, improve physical connectivity and transit, better market access, and flow of investment and trade.
Foreign Secretary Paudyal said that twin common challenges of COVID-19 and the climate change also make the reason for the central and south Asian regions to work together.
The conference was attended by Heads of State and Government, Foreign Ministers from over 27 countries, EU high representative for foreign and security affairs as well as heads of different UN agencies and international organizations