Describing the move to invite the South Asian leaders and their reciprocity as an "historic effort towards building strong ties with neighbours", Ficci President Sidharth Birla said, "Our Prime Minister has emphasised the idea of SAARC and spoken of regional connectivity and specific strengths of SAARC states which need to be nurtured. This is big in terms of confidence building".
SAARC is a grouping of eight nations including India, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
Birla also hailed the landmark 'friendly and constructive talks' with Pakistan's Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif which dwelt on the importance of boosting trade and investments between the two sides, reported PTI.
"The possibility of full trade normalisation figured prominently in the discussions between Modi and Sharif and it is clear that they have tried to address each others concerns. We view this as a very positive development," he said.
"We are optimistic that the talks will set the tone for rejuvenating ties between the two neighbours and set new benchmarks of cooperation," he added.