SAARC (South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation) Countries

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SAARC is an acronym that stands for the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation. This is a group of nations that have joined together as a geopolitical union and intergovernmental organization.

SAARC was originally founded in 1985. The organization’s goal is to promote economical development and regional integration. In 2006, SAARC launched the South Asian Free Trade Area.

There are eight member states of SAARC. These states together have a combined area of nearly 2 million square miles, making up a total of 3% of the world’s area. The population across all of the member states is over 1.7 billion, accounting for 21% of the world’s total population.

Member countries include:

  • Afghanistan
  • Bangladesh
  • Bhutan
  • India
  • Maldives
  • Nepal
  • Pakistan
  • Sri Lanka

There are also several countries that have observer status. Those nations are:

  • Australia
  • China
  • European Union
  • Iran
  • Japan
  • Mauritius
  • Myanmar
  • South Korea
  • United States

SAARC may grow in the future, as Myanmar has stated it would like to upgrade to become a full member. Russia and Turkey have also applied to become observers, while South Africa has previously participated in SAARC meetings.

SAARC (South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation) Countries

Country 2021 Population
India1,393,409,038
Pakistan225,199,937
Bangladesh166,303,498
Afghanistan39,835,428
Nepal29,674,920
Sri Lanka21,497,310
Bhutan779,898
Maldives543,617

SAARC (South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation) Countries