SAARC Chamber of Commerce and Industry organized 4th SARAC Business Leaders Conclave with theme “Peace and Prosperity through Regional Connectivity” in collaboration with Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce & Industry on 20-22 September 2011 at Kathmandu, Nepal. The Conclave was supported by Friedrich Naumann Foundation, Regional office New Delhi and the World Bank Group as the knowledge partner. The conclave aimed at determining a persuasive action plan of the private sector of the region to foster the process of regional integration in South Asia.
Dr. Ram Baran Yadav President of Nepal was the chief guest and inaugurated 4th SBLC. In his inaugural address he said South Asian nations have common economic goals and common economic challenges. We can move towards prosperity through stronger emphasis on regional partnership. South Asian nations are the home to one-fifth of the world’s population and are equally abundant with resources that have to be exploited through united efforts.
On this occasion, Hon'ble Mr. Ratnasiri Wickramanayake, MP and Ex-Prime Minister, Sri Lanka said that the 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.
Mr. Annisul Huq, President of SAARC Chamber of Commerce and Industry in his keynote address lamented that many important policies that are supposed to boost South Asian trade are forwarded but implementation and execution took almost a decade so that the policy effectiveness is lost by the time of its coming in to effect.
He added that the Better connectivity and trust among South Asian nations will make the movement within the region freer,” pointed out Mr. Huq and urged upon the political leaders of South Asia to exhibit political will to bring peace and prosperity to the Regional, which homed ¼ of the World population, possess the unlimited potential but stayed least integrated in the world.
Mr. Suraj Vaidya, President of the Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI) in his address said that the intraregional trade among the SAARC member states is marred by the issues of non-tariff barriers and 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.
Mr. Tariq Sayeed, immediate former President and Mr. Padma Jyoti, former President of SAARC CCI were honoured with gold medal by President Nepal in the recognition of their untiring services for SAARC CCI and serving business community of South Asia. The incumbent President Mr. 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 Kathamndu 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 including largest participation 120 from Bangladesh followed by 75 from Pakistan.
The first conclave was held in New Delhi (2005) second was held in Mumbai (2007) and the third conclave took place in Colombo in 2009.