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