27th Anniversary of SAARC & Seminar on “Trade and Investment: New Dawn in South Asian Integration”

SAARC Chamber of commerce & industry organized a seminar in commemorating 27th Anniversary of SAARC (South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation) on 8th December 2012 in Marriot Hotel in Islamabad. The seminar was organized under theme “Trade and Investment – New Dawn in South Asian Integration”. Senator Mushahid Hussain Syed, Secretary General, PMN (Q) grace the occasion as guest of honor.

The seminar commenced with introductory remarks of Mr. Iqbal Tabish, Secretary General, SAARC CCI. While sharing remarks he said that the business community of the region is committed to promote economic cooperation of the region and SAARC CCI is actively involved in promoting economic liberalization in the region through number of activities focused on awareness building on core issues, developing global linkages, providing services to private sector, working closely with the Governments of respective countries of SAARC and developing institutional framework for promoting economic cooperation in the region.

Mr. Iftikhar Ali Malik, Vice President, SAARC CCI in his welcome remarks said that the region could account for over half of global output by the middle of this century but we are not prepared for it. He added that lack of political commitment, protectionists policies, non-resolution of issues have been the main hurdles in the development of South Asia. He welcomed the recent development in bilateral relations between India and Pakistan and India and Bangladesh have commenced a new era in history of South Asia.

Senator Mushahid Hussain Syed, Special guest in his keynote address said that the 21st-century is the ‘Asian Century’ in which we will witness the dominance of Asian politics, business and culture which calls for governments and private sector to play their due role. Asia is reverting back to global supremacy in business, knowledge, culture, politics and innovation after 250 years, he said, adding that in the emerging scenario Saarc nations should brace for the change. Mushahid Hussain also proposed to have a South Asian Parliament like European Parliament to ensure rapid development.

VP FPCCI Mirza Abdul Rehman, Deputy High Commissioner (HC) Bangladesh Md. Jashimuddin, Deputy HC India Gopal Baglay, HC Nepal Bharat Raj Paudyal, First Secretary Sri Lankan High Commission E.A.S Wijayanthi Edirisinghe also addressed the inaugural session of the seminar.

The inaugural session of the seminar was followed by technical session which was chaired by Senator Haji Adeel and was addressed by Dr. Vaqar Ahmed, Dy. Executive Director, Economic Growth Unit, SDPI, Dr. Muhammad Pervaz, Program Leader, Technology Transfer, SAARC Energy Centre and Syed Mohsin Ahmed, Chairperson South Asian Micro Finance Network (SAMN). While concluding the session, Senator Haji Adeel said that only way to provide relief to majority of the world’s population living in this region is through increased trade and reduced friction.

Ambassadors, diplomats from Saarc family and business leaders underlined the need for political commitment, review of protectionists policies, and resolution of issues to ensure dawn of a new era in history of South Asia. President and office bearers of various business chambers and associations were also present on the occasion.

Picture Gallery

S5 Box