Saarc members must find way around roadblocks

India’s trade agreements with Nepal and Bhutan, which include hydroelectric power projects, and its contemplation of Cross-Border Electricity Trade (“CBET”) with Sri Lanka in 2025 are exemplars of transboundary trade in energy. As blocs like Asean and BIMSTEC have proven themselves to be better in their approaches than Saarc, the member countries of Saarc should focus upon persuading other members to establish bilateral and trilateral free-trade agreements among themselves in order to give up on imposing para-tariffs on each other.

Affliction and Asia

Prime Minister Modi has taken the lead both at the G-20 and in SAARC advocating international cooperation to defeat Covid-19. Overall, a moderate approach combined with both assertive and non-assertive posturing is likely to emerge in Asia. Stable relations with India will become a priority, even though Beijing would be mindful of New Delhi's growing partnership with the US, and India's rising Indo-Pacific profile. We need to see the world in peace and not in conflict.