“India will now give business visa for three-five years for Saarc countries,” Modi said at the two-day Saarc summit that began on Wednesday.
“I also believe that if we can light up each other’s towns and villages, we can build a brighter tomorrow for our region,” he added.
He noted: “India has huge trade surplus with Saarc countries. I believe that this is neither right nor sustainable.”
“Let’s all make our procedures simple, our facilities better, our standards common and our paper work less burdensome,” he said.
“Nowhere in the world are collective efforts more urgent than in South Asia; and, nowhere else is it so modest: PM @narendramodi,” ministry of external affairs spokesman Syed Akbaruddin quoted Modi in a tweet.
“How much have we done in Saarc to turn our natural wealth into shared prosperity,” Modi asked.
He, however, reassured the summit that south Asia is slowly coming together.
The Prime Minister also said that the future he dreamt for India was the future that he wished for the entire Saarc region.
Established in 1985 in Bangladesh, the Saarc is a regional association of eight south Asian countries, namely Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, the Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. Afghanistan joined Saarc as its eighth member state in 2007.