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SAARC Development Fund plans cross-border e-commerce platform for enabling seamless trade

New Delhi: Thimpu-based SAARC Development Fund (SDF) is in the process of developing an e-commerce platform for enabling seamless trade of goods and services across member states even as it would fund 'start-ups', said its CEO Sunil Motiwal.

Established in 2010 by heads of eight SAARC member states, the Thimpu-based SDF has so far completed the financial closure of $73.75 million of which $47 million has already been disbursed.

A proposal to develop a cross-border e-commerce platform along with a SAARC money card for the common people across the region is under finalisation, he said.

Representational image. AFP.

Representational image. AFP.

SDF recently organised a two-day SAARC Development Fund Partnership Conclave. Motiwal said that the initiatives like e-commerce platform along with funding the 'start-ups' found an instant support among international funding organisations.

The Start-Up programme would include entrepreneurs well in areas like renewable energy, agriculture, health and micro-enterprises, especially in MSME segments," he said.

According to the SDF, currently, only 4 percent of the total trade of the eight SAARC member nations 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 SDF said.

With an authorised capital of $1.5 billion and a total capital base of $500 million, Motiwal said the SDF is working to enhance its credit portfolio to $300 million in the next few years by financing a range of projects including renewable sources, transportation, telecom and environment in the SAARC region.

Updated Date: Jul 10, 2018 15:46 PM

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