The South Asia Vision 2030 of the SAARC Chamber is poised to usher an era of prosperity, progress, development and welfare for the people in the region which mainly aimed at accelerating the pace of economic activities in all member countries.
Inaugurating SAARC Women Business Leadership Summit in Colombo, SAARC Chamber’s Senior Vice President Iftikhar Ali Malik said due efforts would be initiated to materialize the vision besides accelerating efforts towards forging closer partnerships and economic integration within the subcontinent and beyond with special focus on women entrepreneurs.
Iftikhar Malik said that the summit focused on enhancing trade among all the SAARC member countries: Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, Nepal, Maldives, and Afghanistan to fully encourage the women entrepreneurs which constitute more than 50 percent of the total population.
The matters pertaining to free trade in the SAARC region, the proposal of harmonization of customs procedures and documentation in the region to facilitate the movement of goods across the borders are also under discussion. Despite challenges, Iftikhar Malik said that the region holds immense trade and investment potential and special focus and effort are required for regional integration to actualize that potential.
He said that the SAARC member countries must focus on removal of non-tariff barriers (NTBs) and must work for enhancing B2B interaction to boost trade. He said that the increasing interdependence and the notion of shared goals and common concerns were the geneses of the South Asian body.
By realizing the commitment of leaders enshrined in the SAARC Charter, the region can progress and bring economic prosperity and social uplift for generations, he said and also highlighted that the region holds immense trade and investment potential, being home to 21 percent of the world’s population.
Iftikhar Malik said that they will have to develop an agenda for South Asian cooperation, driven broadly by economic concerns where we are seeking to take advantage of optimality and economic relations. He emphasized on restructuring production and export processes to improve trans-boundary trade in South Asia.
He said that the rising disposable incomes, improving consumer lifestyles, and a significant increase in the GDPs largely supplement the growth of the market in the south Asian region. He said that the region cannot prosper without the active participation of women entrepreneurs.
Due to a lack of physical infrastructure to unleash the economic potential of the region, the SAARC Chamber had also identified some projects of energy, connectivity and taking advantage of value addition in the information technology sector, the senior Pakistani businessman said.
He said that Pakistan is committed to regional cooperation under the umbrella of the South Asian body for promoting the welfare of the people of the region, improving their quality of life, economic progress, social uplift, and cultural cooperation.