SAARC Development Fund, the cross boarder project umbrella financing institution for SAARC member states is in the process of developing an e-commerce platform to enable seamless trade of goods and services across the region, a press release from SDF states.

SDF would fund start-ups, giving a fillip to budding entrepreneurs in the region, according to CEO of SDF, Dr Sunil Motiwal.

“A proposal to develop a cross border e-commerce platform along with a SAARC money card for the common people across the region is in the stage of finalization,” Dr Motiwal said in a statement, summarising the outcome of the recent two-day SDF Partnership Conclave in New Delhi, India.

The business meeting with the multilateral organisations and financial institutions were meant to rope them in enhancing the credit portfolio of SDF, which has already disbursed USD 47 million in 12 cross boarder projects and granted in principal approvals for two energy cross boarder projects with commitment of USD 30 Million in the region, the press release states.

“The Start-Up programme would include entrepreneurs as well in areas like renewal energy, agriculture and health and micro-enterprises especially in MSME segments,” Dr Motiwal said.”You can come up with a proposal which will be funded by the SDF which has a capital base of USD 500 million.”

The press release states that there is also a proposal of introducing a plastic SAARC money card, which can have denominations of all the currencies in the region.Currently, only four percent of the total trade of the SAARC member states is taking place within the region. “This can be increased significantly by initiatives like e-commerce, a booming business across the world. Stakeholders can work on building common facilities for logistic, warehousing and transportation,” the press release states.

Staff Reporter