14th China South Asia Business Forum (CSABF)

The SAARC Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SAARC CCI) in partnership with the Yunnan Sub Council of China Council for Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT), supported by Peoples Government of Yunnan, China, organized 14th China South Asia Business Forum (CSABF) held from 12th to 13th June 2019, in Kunming, Yunnan Province, China.  

The China-South Asia Business Forum originated as an outcome of the Memorandum of Understanding signed between the China Council for Promotion of International Trade, Yunnan Province of the Peoples’ Republic of China and the SAARC Chamber of Commerce and Industry in 2004. This has been an important mesure that brought two great civilizations of China and South Asia closer together.

The SAARC CCI President, Mr. Ruwan Edirisinghe led a delegation of leading businessmen from South Asian countries to participate in 14th China South Asia Business Forum (CSABF). The forum was held under the theme “Promoting Industrialization and Manufacturing Competitiveness” and was aimed towards enhancing economic cooperation between China and SAARC member states.

Sri Lanka being the theme country of the forum, Hon’ble Mr. Nalin Bandara Jayamaha, Deputy Minister of Development Strategies and international Trade, the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, addressed the inaugural session of the forum. In his remarks he emphasized that the cooperation between China and Sri Lanka under the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative has not only brought tangible benefits to the two countries and two peoples, but also generated new opportunities for regional development.

He further mentioned that the government of Sri Lanka expected to bring more investments to Sri Lanka, to make Colombo Port City a commercial center in South Asia. The Colombo Port City project had completed a key stage of its construction for the reclamation of land at the earliest possible time. He added that Sri Lanka benefitted from China's tourism market. Last year, more than 260,000 Chinese tourists had visited Sri Lanka, according to Sri Lanka's tourism ministry, and the country would expect to attract more tourists from China.


Hon’ble Mr. Nalin Bandara Jayamaha, Deputy Minister of Development Strategies and
International Trade, The Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka

At the inaugural session of 14th China South Asia Business Forum (CSABF), Mr. Ruwan Edirisinghe, President of SAARC CCI and the Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Sri Lanka (FCCISL) in his key note address stated that “Tremendous potential between two world oldest civilizations needs to be harnessed through meaningful cooperation”. He further emphasized that the rise of China as an economic power and the emergence of South Asia as a center of global attention are significant developments in the arena of international economics and politics.

He was of the opinion that tremendous potential of China and South Asia needs to be harnessed through meaningful cooperation in mutually interested areas. “China is an economic ocean and South Asia has the potential to become part of the ocean, successful integration will generate mutual gains and win-win situations for both regions”, he added.

He stated that the China South Asia Business Cooperation started back in 2004 and is a great initiative that bridges the gap between China and South Asian business communities. “Industrialization is the best way of developing South Asia with its born capacity of natural resources, large young working class and excellent geographical location. As we know that China shares its border with almost all South Asian countries, the trade complementarities between China and the South Asian region are high, the South Asian region is rich in untapped natural resources and low labor cost, whereas China is strong in finance, technical know-how and industrialization”, he added. 
 

Address by Mr. Ruwan Edirisinghe, President of SAARC CCI at the inaugural session
of 14th China South Asia Business Forum (CSABF) in Kunming, China

At the conclusion of opening ceremony of 14th CSABF, the leaders of SAARC CCI member Chambers also signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with CCPIT-Yunnan on Co-building China South Asia Business Cooperation database and sharing of bi-lateral trade data and research reports with trade associations in Yunnan, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bangladesh, India and Bhutan. The leaders included Ms. Shirley Jayawardana, Senior Vice President on behalf of the Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Sri Lanka (FCCISL), Engineer Daroo Khan Achakzai on behalf of the Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI), Mr. Chandi Raj Dhakal, Vice President of SAARC CCI (Nepal) on behalf of the Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI) and  Mr. Rajeev Singh, Director General of on behalf of the Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI).
 

MoU signed between SAARC CCI member Chambers and China Council for the
Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT), Yunnan Sub-council on Co-Building China
South Asia Business Cooperation Database.

The session was also addressed by Mr. Nalin Bandara Jayamaha, Deputy Minister of Development Strategies and international Trade, the democratic republic of Sri Lanka, H.E Mr. Hussain Zamir, Deputy Minister of Economic Development, Republic of Maldives, Mr. Zong Guoying, Standing Deputy Governor of Peoples Government of Yunnan Province, Engineer Daroo Khan, President, Federation of Pakistan Chamber, Mr. Nizam Uddin Rajish, Vice President, Federation of Bangladesh Chambers, Dr. Rajeev Singh Tyagi, Director General, Indian Chamber of Commerce, Ms. Li Jingjing, Vice President of Sany Heavy Industry Co. Ltd,  Mr. Shri Mahesh Chandra Keyal, Vice-President, Federation of Indian Export Organizations and Mr. Chen Zhou, Vice Chairman of China Council for the Promotion of International Trade.

Mr. Chen Zhou, Vice Chairman of China Council for the Promotion of International Trade in his address said that the organization expects to contribute toward cooperation between China and South Asia. He called for new measures to tap the potential for trade growth, develop innovative trade patterns in e-commerce and promote international capacity cooperation to allow more South Asian companies to access cost-effective and high-quality Chinese technologies and equipment.

 
Mr. Chen Zhou, Vice Chairman, China Council for the Promotion of
International Trade, addressing opening ceremony of 14th CSABF



South and South East Asia Commodity Expo and Investment Fair

June 12-18, 2019 in Kunming, Yunnan Province, China

The Expo aimed towards promoting stronger cooperation between Yunnan, China and South and Southeast Asian countries.  Exhibitors from 74 countries, regions and international organizations were featured.

Mr. Ruwan Edirisinghe, President of SAARC CCI, addressed the opening ceremony of 2019- South and South East Asia Commodity Expo and Investment Fair (2019 SSACEIF) on June 12, 2019 in Kunming, Yunnan Province, and acknowledged it as a great initiative to bridge the gap between China and South Asian business communities.  
    
President of SAARC CCI, Mr. Ruwan Edirisinghe, added that SSACEIF started in 2017 and is a great initiative that helps in bridging the gap between China and South Asian business people. He stated, “today, once again the participation from South Asian countries is a sign of consistency and a long-term mutually beneficial relationship between China and the South Asian countries”.

“Through these forums, China and South Asian private sector has recognized the great potential and shared benefits which are only realized through true partnerships and win-win arrangements such as the China South Asia Business Forum, China South Asia Cooperation Forum and trade related initiatives such as South and South East Asia Commodity Expo and Investment Fair”, added Mr. Ruwan Edirisinghe.
 

Address by Mr. Ruwan Edirisinghe, President of SAARC CCI and Chair of 14th CSABF at the opening
ceremony of South and Southeast Asia Commodity Expo & Investment Fair (SSACEIF)
on June 12, 2019 in Kunming, China.


Hon'ble Mr. Ruan Chengfa, Governor of Yunnan welcoming Excellencies and distinguished
guests at the opening ceremony of South and Southeast Asia Commodity Expo and Investment Forum

Ms. Shirley Jayawardena, Senior Vice President, Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Sri Lanka (FCCISL) and Executive Committee member SAARC CCI, during her address shared that the region of South Asia will become more dominant in the coming years. She further added that economic trade between China and Sri Lanka has upheld an upward momentum in recent years; therefore, developed nations should encourage less developed countries for shared prosperity.



2nd Edition of China South Asia Business Cooperation Forum

June 10, 2019 in Yuxi, Yunnan Province, China

Prior to 14th CSABF, SAARC CCI delegation participated in the 2nd edition of China South Asia Business Cooperation Forum in Yuxi, Yunnan Province, China. It aimed at strengthening cooperation between China and South Asian Countries in various fields, to create new pattern for regional all-dimensional cooperation.

The forum was graced by His Excellency Mr. Ruan Chengfa, Governor of Yunnan Province, China. The cooperation meeting was also addressed by political leaders of South Asia, representatives of World Bank, Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank, Asian Development Bank and leading businessmen from South Asia.
 

SAARC CCI delegation led by Mr. Ruwan Edirisinghe, President of SAARC CCI including
Mr. Chandi Raj Dhakal, Vice President (Nepal), Dr. Rohitha Silva, Vice President (Sri Lanka),
Mr. Ruwan De Silva, General Assembly member (Sri Lanka), Ms. Hina Saeed,
Secretary General SAARC CCImeet with Mr. Liu Guangxi, Chairman of CCPIT, Yunnan Sub-council.


A pictorial view of participants attending the 2nd China-South Asia Cooperation Forum (CSACF)
held in Yuxi City, southwest China's Yunnan Province, June 10, 2019.



The CCPIT Legal team met with SAARC CCI delegation

June 13, 2019, in Kunming, China

The CCPIT Legal team led by Mr. Liu Chao held a meeting with SAARC CCI delegation led by Mr. Ruwan Edirisinghe, President of SAARC CCI in the presence of Mr. Chandi Raj Dhakal, Vice President of SAARC CCI (Nepal), Ms. Hina Saeed, Secretary General of SAARC CCI, and Mr. Zulfiqar Ali Butt, Deputy Secretary General SAARC CCI, on June 13, 2019, in Kunming, China. Mr. Liu Chao invited SAARC CCI to become the founding member of International Commercial Dispute Prevention and Settlement Organization (ICDPASO). The SAARC CCI President, Mr. Ruwan Edirisinghe, and Mr. Chandi Raj Dhakal, Vice President of SAARC CCI (Nepal) discussed in detail on the formation and structure of ICDPASO.


CCPIT Legal team led by Mr. Liu Chao meeting with SAARC CCI delegation led by Mr. Ruwan Edirisinghe, President, SAARC CCI along with Mr. Chandi Raj Dhakal, Vice President SAARC CCI (Nepal), Ms. Hina Saeed, Secretary General SAARC CCI and Mr. Zulfiqar Ali Butt, Deputy Secretary General SAARC CCI, on June 13, 2019, in Kunming, China.



The SAARC CCI Delegation Met with Sichuan Sub Council of CCPIT and CAFTEC

June 14, 2019, Chengdu, Sichuan Province, China

The SAARC CCI delegation led by Mr. Ruwan Edirisinghe, President of SAARC CCI along with Mr. Chandi Raj Dhakal, Vice President of SAARC CCI (Nepal), Dr. Rohitha Silva, Vice President of SAARC CCI (Sri Lanka), Ms. Hina Saeed, Secretary General of SAARC CCI, and Mr. Zulfiqar Ali Butt, Deputy     Secretary General of SAARC CCI, visited Sichuan province and held meetings with the leadership of Sichuan Sub Council of China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT) and the Chengdu Foreign Trade Promotion Association (CAFTEC).  
 

During the meeting with Mr. Li Gang, President CCPIT Sichuan Council Chengdu, China, President SAARC CCI reinforced the commitment and understanding to enhance Sichuan – South Asia business cooperation, by mobilizing a delegation from SAARC member countries to participate in forthcoming South and Southeast Asia Business Leaders’ Summit in Chengdu, China from September 23-25, 2019. Mr. Ruwan Edirisinghe, President of SAARC CCI, urged the CCPIT leadership to invite Chairmen of BOIs (Boards of Investment) from SAARC Member countries to business summit to present investment opportunities in their respective countries.
 
 

SAARC CCI delegation led by President SAARC CCI, Mr. Ruwan Edirisinghe, held a meeting with Mr. Chen Xiao, Secretary General of CAFTEC in Chengdu, China, aimed at meaningful cooperation between SAARC CCI and CAFTEC. In the light of discussion, it was decided that SAARC CCI would lead a business delegation from each SAARC member country to participate in Chengdu Dialogue, scheduled in September, 2019. They also agreed to exchange information regarding investment opportunities in South Asia with CAFTEC.

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