Established : 1985
Headquarter : Kathmandu, Nepal.
The South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) was established with the signing of the SAARC Charter in Dhaka on 8 December 1985. SAARC comprises of eight Member States: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. The Secretariat of the Association was set up in Kathmandu on 17 January 1987.
The member states are
The Meetings of the Heads of Government of Member States is the highest decision making authority under SAARC. Summits are usually held biennially hosted by a Member State in alphabetical order. The Member State hosting the Summit assumes the Chair of the Association.
SAARC – Specialized Bodies
SAARC has established new institutions such as SAARC Arbitration Council (SARCO), South Asian University (SAU), SAARC Development Fund (SDF) Secretariat and SAARC Regional Standards Organization (SARSO).
SAARC Regional Centres
Since 1989, a number of Regional Centres with specific mandates have been established to strengthen and promote regional cooperation.
South Asian Free Trade Area(SAFTA)
The South Asian Free Trade Area (SAFTA) is the free trade arrangement of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC). The agreement came into place in 2006, succeeding the 1993 SAARC Preferential Trading Arrangement. SAFTA signatory countries are Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.