Modi engagement with SAARC to pave way for growth: Ficci

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Hailing Prime Minister Narendra Modi's move to engage with leaders of SAARC nations, Ficci today said it will pave the way for long lasting peace and multi-faceted cooperation, which is critical to put the region on a strong pedestal of sustained growth and development.

Describing the move to invite the South Asian leaders and their reciprocity as an "historic effort towards building strong ties with neighbours", Ficci President Sidharth Birla said: "Our Prime Minister has emphasised the idea of SAARC and spoken of regional connectivity and specific strengths of SAARC states which need to be nurtured. This is big in terms of confidence building".

Newly-elected Prime Minister Modi today met South-Asian Association of Regional Cooperation (SAARC) Heads of Government and State, invited for his swearing-in ceremony which took place yesterday.

SAARC is a grouping of eight nations including India, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

Birla also hailed the landmark 'friendly and constructive talks' with Pakistan's Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif which dwelt on the importance of boosting trade and investments between the two sides.

"The possibility of full trade normalisation figured prominently in the discussions between Modi and Sharif and it is clear that they have tried to address each other's concerns. We view this as a very positive development," he said.

"We are optimistic that the talks will set the tone for rejuvenating ties between the two neighbours and set new benchmarks of cooperation," he added.

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