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 financial closure of USD 73.75 million of which USD 47 million have 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.
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.
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According to the SDF, currently, only 4 per cent 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 USD 1.5 billion and a total capital base of USD 500 million, Motiwal said the SDF is working to enhance its credit portfolio to USD 300 million in the next few years by financing a range of projects including renewable sources, transportation, telecom and environment in the SAARC region.
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