4th SAARC Business Leaders Conclave in Kathmandu concludes

Wednesday, 19 October 2011 01:05 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

The SAARC Chamber of Commerce and Industry organized fourth SAARC Business Leaders Conclave with theme “Peace and Prosperity through Regional Connectivity” in collaboration with Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry on 20-22 September in Kathmandu, Nepal.

The Conclave was supported by the Friedrich Naumann Foundation, Regional office New Delhi and the World Bank Group as knowledge partner. Leading Sri Lankan business personalities attended this with the Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FCCISL) officials striking greater success in terms of business networking and promoting the country. The conclave was aimed at determining a persuasive action plan of the private sector of the region to foster the process of regional integration in South Asia.

President of Nepal Dr. Ram Baran Yadav was the chief guest and inaugurated fourth SBLC. In his inaugural address, he said South Asian nations have common economic goals and common economic challenges. This can move towards prosperity through stronger emphasis on regional partnership. South Asian nations are home to one-fifth of the world’s population and are equally abundant with resources that should be exploited through united efforts.

On this occasion, Senior Minister and former Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickramanayake said that Sri Lanka’s business community, with dynamic role of the respective Government in South Asia, could bring about revolutionary changes and further foster the pace of regional integration in South Asia.

SAARC Chamber of Commerce and Industry President Annisul Huq in his keynote address lamented that many important policies, which are supposed to boost South Asian trade, were forwarded but implementation and execution took almost a decade and that policy effectiveness is lost by the time of its coming in to effect.

He added that better connectivity and trust among South Asian nations will make the movement within the region freer and urged South Asia’s political leaders to exhibit political will to bring peace and prosperity to the region, which homes ¼ of the world population, and possesses unlimited potential but remains least integrated in the world.

Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI) President Suraj Vaidya in his address, said that the intraregional trade among the SAARC member states is marred by issues of non-tariff barriers and a sensitive list that need to be addressed effectively for rapid expansion of intra-regional trade while pointing out intra-regional trade as one of the important measure to alleviate the economic situation of the people of region.

Immediate Former President Tariq Sayeed and Former President of SAARC CCI Padma Jyoti were honoured with gold medals the by President Nepal in the recognition of their untiring services to SAARC CCI and serving the business community of South Asia. The incumbent President Annisul Huq conferred upon his predecessors the certificate of appreciation as well.

The inaugural session was followed by seven sessions including valedictory session. The conclave concluded with adaptation of Kathmandu declaration. The event witnessed the presence of leading politicians, prominent academicians and corporate heads of the enterprises from the region and around world. The Conclave was attended by more than 500 delegates across South Asia. The first conclave was held in New Delhi (2005), the second in Mumbai (2007) and the third conclave took place in Colombo in 2009.