Union information and broadcasting minister Manish Tewari on Saturday said that by putting aside minor differences, South Asian Association of Regional Countries (SAARC) could reap greater dividends in terms of politics and economics.
Speaking at an inaugural function of a meeting of SAARC Diploma Engineers' Forum, the union minister said India had always played a role in fostering regional cooperation between countries in Asia and the Middle East. "South Asia is home to two-fifth of humanity. While this presents a challenge, at the same time it provides an opportunity to reap demographic dividend, particularly in comparison to the aging populations around the world," he said.
The minister said that SAARC's growth might had been gradual, but it had been steady and had enhanced cooperation between member countries.
He said SAARC nations faced common challenges like poverty, hunger, illiteracy, and infrastructure development, which could be fought collectively.
More than 150 delegates, including 44 foreign delegates, will exchange technical know-how during the function.