Restart Asian Economies Unlocking the Regions Potential

A series of Online Business Dialogues was initiated by Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom (FNF) in partnership with SCCI. The aim of this initiative was to establish a cross-regional business dialogue thereby encouraging businesses to exchange ideas and to harness enabling economic relations delivering concrete advice to entrepreneurs.

The theme of the first online business dialogue was Unlocking the Region’s Potential – Labour Mobility in South Asia, held on September 20, 2021, at 4:30 pm (IST) on Webinex.

The Dialogue was exceptionally moderated by the Award-winning Canadian-Pakistani Television host and socio-political analyst Mr. Waqar Rizvi whereas the panelists comprised of Ms. Bhawani Rana, Chairperson, Fortuna Group, Nepal, Dr. Asim Jamal, Country Chair & MD of Sanofi, Pakistan, and Mr. Wansapriya Gunaseela, Managing Director, BUILDTEK Consultants (Pvt) Ltd, Sri Lanka.

Dr. Asim Jamal, Country Chair & MD of Sanofi, Pakistan shared his views on South Asian labour mobility. He mentioned, “the young workforce has the capacity and the capability of delivering the needs of the day. People living in this region are extremely underpricing and passionate about the skill set they carry. They are open to move from one geography to another.”

Mr. Wansapriya Gunaseela, Managing Director, BUILDTEK Consultants (Pvt) Ltd, Sri Lanka, was requested to share his views on leveraging the youth of the region. He expressed that within the workforce participation, there is a dire need to look up for the intra-regional prospects.

He described, “the South Asian young workforce should be properly trained in a way that their skills and abilities are in line with high technology and innovative industries in the modern world. South Asia is becoming an emerging hub for the manufacturing industry and our concentration should focus on it”.

The dialogue was followed by a questions-and-answers session. The panelists responded factually to all the queries and analyzed potential ways through which various sector-specific issues can be solved for the benefit of workers and entrepreneurs across South Asia.

Ms. Bhawani Rana, Chairperson, Fortuna Group, Nepal, while sharing her thoughts emphasized how labour mobility has a deep connection with opportunities.

She stated, “perhaps, after the COVID-19 pandemic, our workers in South Asia are not only moving to the Middle East but also South East Asian countries for better opportunities and good wages. Furthermore, it is imperative to restrain our labour within South Asia and have mobility within the region which will not only ensure their safety, but also will keep them closer to the culture. Our firm determination and collective effort can bring all the manufacturing industries around the globe to South Asia and make it a hub for the manufacturing sector.”