Background

Background:
At the outset, the anticipation of being left behind in the global economic turf was what brought the representatives of National Federations of Chambers of Commerce and Industry of SAARC countries together at the second meeting of Chambers of Commerce & Industry of the developing countries (G-77) in New Delhi in December 1988. A memorandum of understanding was signed among these representatives expressing their intention and desire to establish the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of SAARC countries for the promotion of trade and industry in the SAARC region and to develop and achieve common objectives in these areas. The memorandum of understanding (MoU) was the avant-coureur to the current SAARC Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Introduction:

Creation of SAARC CCI:
SAARC was established in the year 1985, hitherto avoided including core economic issues in its program, but in consequence to a desire for having a SAARC Chamber of Commerce and Industry, SAARC Secretariat commissioned a study on Trade, Manufactures and Services in 1988. The study was completed in 1991 and was concluded with a strong endorsement towards establishing a SAARC Chamber of Commerce and Industry so as to bring about improvement in the business environment, disseminate information about potential tradable goods and identify joint ventures in the SAARC region.

Pursuant to the directive of SAARC Secretariat, SAARC Chamber of Commerce & Industry, assisted by the National Federations, submitted its draft constitution to the SAARC Secretariat and received its approval in December 1992. This signified the official recognition of the SAARC Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SAARC CCI) by all the national governments of SAARC as the apex body of all the National Federations of Chambers of Commerce and Industry of SAARC, namely

  • Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce & Industry( ACCI)
  • Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FBCCI)
  • Bhutan Chamber of Commerce & Industry (BCCI)
  • Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI)
  • Maldives National Chamber of Commerce & Industry (MNCCI)
  • Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FNCCI)
  • Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FPCCI)
  • Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Sri Lanka (FCCISL)

Presently all National Chambers/ Federations of the respective member countries serve as focal points to facilitate the SAARC CCI Secretariat in Islamabad. Currently two new sub offices; in Colombo and Mumbai, have been opened up and are functional whereby opening up of a third sub office in Dhaka is in the pipeline.

Management & Operations:
In October 1993, Mr. S.M Inam from Pakistan was elected as the First President of SCCI (1994 to 1995). In Feb 1994, SCCI was formally inaugurated in Dhaka by the then Prime Minister of Bangladesh. The presidency of SCCI rotates alphabetically amongst member organizations. Since its establishment, Presidency of SAARC CCI has been enjoyed by all seven founder members. In the first rotation of presidency Mr. Salman F Rahman of Bangladesh (1996 to 1997), Mr. Kantikumar R Podar of India (1998 to 1999), Mr. Qasim Ibrahim of Maldives (2000 to 2001), Mr. Padma Jyoti of Nepal (2002 to 2003), Mr. Macky Hashim from Sri Lanka (2004 to 2005)  and Dasho Ugen Tshechup Dorji (2006 to 2007) from Bhutan have served the organization.

After completion of first rotation, Mr. Tariq Sayeed from Pakistan took over presidency (2008 to 2009) followed by Mr. Annisul Huq from Bangladesh, (2010 to 2011) and Mr. Vikramjit Singh Sahney from India (2012 to 2013). Mr. Ismail Asif from Maldives (2014) while Mr. Suraj Vaidya is the current President from Nepal.

Headquarters of SAARC CCI:
The constitution of SAARC CCI designates Pakistan as the Permanent Secretariat of SAARC with a Secretary General to be the Chief Executive Officer of the Secretariat. Soon after the formation of SAARC CCI, headquarters was set up in the premises of FPCCI in Karachi and later on in December 1997 was shifted to Islamabad.

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