SAARC CCI delegation Calls on to H.E. Secretary General SAARC

A seven member delegation of SAARC Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SAARC CCI) comprising President Mr. Ismail Asif, Immediate Past president Mr. Vikramjit Singh Sahney, former President Mr. Padma Jyoti from Nepal, Senior Vice President Mr. Suraj Vaidya, Vice President Mr. Iftikhar Ali Malik, Secretary General Mr. Muhammad Iqbal Tabish called on H.E. Arjun Bahadur Thapa, Secretary General South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation on May 16, 2014 at SAARC Secretariat, Kathmandu.

The President SAARC CCI while presenting his action plan urged for enhanced cooperation in the areas of finance, health, education and tourism in addition to trade and demanded free movement of goods and people to improve cross border trade and investment. He also suggested utilizing influence of media to highlight successful areas under SAARC mechanism at regional and international level.

Photograph taken at the occasion of courtesy call of SAARC CCI delegation on May 14, 2014 to (7-L) H.E. Arjun Bahadur Thapa, Secretary General, SAARC . (Middle)Mr. Ismail Asif, President, (5-L)Mr. Vikramjit Singh Sahney, Immediate Past President , (5-R)Mr. Padma Jyoti, Former President, (6-R)Mr. Suraj Vaidya, Snr. Vice President, (4-L)Mr. Iftikhar Ali Malik, Vice President(Pakistan), (4-R)Mr. Iqbal Tabish, Secretary General, SAARC CCI (2-R) Ms. L. Savithri, Director ( EFT) SAARC, (2-L) Mr. S.C. Sharma, official of SAARC (3-L)Mr. Subodh Kumar, Snr. Exe. Programs FNF, and (1-L)Ms. Prabina Pandey, In-charge SAARC Desk (FNCCI), (2-L)Mr. Anup from FNCCI, and (1-R)Ms. Laila, member SCWEC from Maldives.

Mr. Vikramjit Singh Sahney, Immediate Past President made a brief presentation on activities undertaken during his term and appreciated the role of SAARC Secretariat in engaging SAARC CCI in policy-making process. He demanded for 500 SAARC Visa Exemption Stickers for businessmen from each member country at a parity of one year to promote economic cooperation.

Mr. Padma Jyoti, former President SAARC CCI from Nepal asked for Private Sector representation at upcoming SAARC Summit, citing the audience with Ministers of Councils before Summit in 2002 wherein SAARC CCI made a presentation, urging for adoption of Public-Private-Partnership model to tap the economic potential of the region.

Mr. Suraj Vaidya, Senior Vice President SAARC CCI from Nepal requested for exchange of information about SAARC events so that the Private Sector could undertake activities, complementing efforts of the Public sector to deepen regional cooperation.

Mr. Iftikhar Ali Malik, Pakistan informed that SAARC CCI Headquarters Building Project will be started soon and thanked the Ministry of Commerce, Pakistan for fiscal assistance. He expressed confidence that after completion of the project a well-equipped Secretariat would be instrumental to achieving economic objectives of SAARC.

H.E. Arjun Bahadur Thapa, Secretary General, SAARC while appreciating the SAARC CCI for its contribution towards promotion of economic activities asked for prioritizing business ties with South Asian enterprises and assured all possible cooperation to SAARC CCI and proactively involve in policy-making process.

Ms. L. Savithri, Director (EFT) said that in some of areas like reduction of sensitive lists, reduction in trade tariffs, SAARC after implementation of SAFTA had performed better than other regional grouping and hoped that after rectification of agreement on Trade and Services by member countries, cross-border trade and investment will be increased manifold.

Mr. Iqbal Tabish, Secretary General, SAARC CCI informed that organisation was now open for membership of National level chambers/ federations in addition to founder member organizations, which has broaden the scope of representation of the private sector. He presented set of reports and studies undertaken by SAARC CCI.

Mr. Subodh Kumar, Snr. Executive Programs, FNF, from New Delhi, Mr. Anup and Ms. Prabina Pandey, in-charge SARC Desk at FNCCI were also present at the occasion.

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