ISLAMABAD: The economic integration and smooth trade in South Asia is the need of the hour to alleviate poverty and usher an era of progress, development and prosperity in the region.
This was the message received during the concluding session of the two-day fifth Saarc Businessman Leaders Conclave at New Delhi by Saarc Chamber of Commerce and Industry Vice President Iftikhar Ali Malik on Friday.
He stressed the need for closer cooperation among the private and public sectors of all member countries.
Malik disclosed that nearly 55% of the total potential for intra-regional trade in South Asia has not been exploited. “South Asia desperately needs to negotiate at collective multilateral trading forums, using the regional forum of Saarc to advance its economic and social growth and enhance human development.”
He added that despite huge indigenous and plenty of natural resources and mineral deposits, the state of intra-region trade in South Asia is highly miserable. “Two major players of South Asia possess great economic potential and enhanced trade relations could bring them closer together provided all core issues confronting the states were settled amicably through peaceful and result oriented parleys.”
According to Malik, both countries have similar socio-economic needs and huge complementarities exist which badly needed to be materialised through mutual co-operation for the overall welfare of the people and durable stability in the region.
A 60-member trade delegation from the private sector of Pakistan is currently visiting India to participate in the conclave. Prominent names among them include FPCCI President Zubair Malik, FPCCI President elect Usman Zekeria, Nestle Pakistan Chairman Syed Yawar Ali and Youth Entrepreneurs President Zulfiqar Ali
Published in The Express Tribune, January 18th, 2014.
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