Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has called upon the South Asian nations to join hands for economic cooperation to improve the life standard of the masses and bring development and prosperity in the region. Addressing the inaugural session of the Saarc Finance Ministers in Islamabad, the prime minister said Pakistan is committed to jointly work with Saarc member states in changing economic landscape of the region and getting its people out of the clutches of poverty, illiteracy and other social ills. Nawaz Sharif said in this era of globalization, the world focuses on finding regional solution to common problems. He said Pakistan has been put on the right track through economic reforms. The prime minister expressed satisfaction over the cooperation among saarc countries in the fields of customs, finance, abolition of dual taxes, and progress in investment. He expressed the confidence that deliberations of finance ministers would complement the agenda of 19th Saarc summit, which Pakistan looks forward to host in Islamabad on 9th and 10th of November this year. Addressing the conference, Secretary General Saarc, Arjun Bahadur Thapa said that the South Asian region has the potential to become the global economic force. He said that since the last Saarc summit, significant progress has been made to bolster economic cooperation amongst the member states. He said the leaders of Saarc countries have set an ambitious target of establishing south Asian Economic union, which requires deeper interaction amongst the member countries. Earlier, in his welcome address, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar said the South Asian region is blessed with immense resources and has the potential to meet the growth requirements of its peoples. He said joint strategies are the way forward to exploit this potential for the socio economic uplift of our peoples. He expressed the confidence that the vision of south asian economic union will promote economic cooperation, investment and connectivity amongst the regional countries.