Preparatory Meeting of 11th China-South Asia Business Forum

China-South Asia Business Council meeting was held on December 6, 2015 at Islamabad, Pakistan as a preparatory discourse for the 11th CSABF to be scheduled in June 2016. The meeting was attended by representative of National Chambers/ Federations from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Pakistan, Nepal and Sri Lanka in addition to founder members like Mr. MackyHashim, former President SAARC CCI (Sri Lanka), Mr. M.K. Saharia (ICCI) in addition to Mr. Ahmed Mujuthaba, former Senior Vice President and Life Member of SAARC CCI from Maldives.  The meeting consisted of two sessions i.e. open & close session. The open session was participated by diplomats, and dignitaries in addition to members of the CSABC followed by a Close session, which was exclusively attended by members of the Council.

(L-R) Guest of Honor H.E. Ahmed Saleem, Ambassador of Maldives to Pakistan  & former Secretary General, SAARC,  Mr. Suraj Vaidya, President (in-charge)-SAARC CCI, Mr. Yu Jianlong, Secretary General, China Chamber of International Commerce, Mr. Iftikhar Ali Malik, Vice President, SAARC CCI (Pakistan).

Mr. Suraj Vaidiya, President, SAARC CCI was of the opinion that by coalescing the Chinese expertise and technology with the natural and human resource of the South Asian countries, we can bring new force of economic development. To him, the economic integration of China -South Asian constituted a huge market of 2.8 billion people, which could result in an economic revolution at global economic map. He termed connectivity as the prerequisite of incessant trade and urged for robust investment mega projects like infrastructure development in order to increase connectivity between China and South Asia.

Mr. Yu Jianlong, Secretary General, China Chamber of International Commerce (CCICI) in his opening remarks said that China Chamber of International Commerce and the SAARC member countries have remarkably improved their economic ties and appreciated the role of CSABF in bringing  two regions closer together.  He was of the opinion that since both China and the South Asian countries were facing similar challenges after the financial crisis, which not only can be addressed through mutual cooperation but both civilizations could also develop partnership in new global economic phase. He opined that both regions have the potential to explore new economic opportunities, which can be harnessed further by effective utilization of geographical proximity that would help deepen socio-economic ties. He was of the concentrated opinion that projects like China-Pakistan Economic Corridor would help promote economic ties in more befitting and productive manner.

Mr. XiongQinghua, Honorable Chairman, CCPIT Sub-Council, Peoples’ Republic of China, in his remarks greatly appreciated the role of CSABF towards developing Sino-South Asia business ties and commended the efforts of SAARC CCI and national Chambers of South Asian countries in convening the CSABF for the last 10 years. He said that the business leadership of both of the regions were  looking forward to foster and strengthen trade and economic cooperation. He was of the opinion that the political and business circles while working together could overcome the challenges and had the ability to transform challenges into opportunities. He hoped that the 11th Sino-SAARC Business Forum will be attended by 2 Prime Ministers, 10 Ministers and Senior Officials and 100 business Elites from the SAARC region and expressed firmness that relying on mutual incessant support could help us in achieving goals envisaged for CSABF.

H.E. Ahmed Saleem, Ambassador of Maldives to Pakistan & Former Secretary General of SAARC while addressing the meeting as Chief Guest stated that China had remarkably experienced beyond economic development by gradually decreasing its poverty from 40% to 8%, which he termed as a miracle of the recent times.  According to him, the experience of China could be helpful for the South Asian countries, which drastically need investments and technological aid. He urged upon taking immediate and necessary measures to widen the sphere of cooperation and to enhance people-to-people interaction and termed improved communication and interaction as integral factors of socio-economic development in addition to resolution of regional conflicts. He said that economic cooperation among the SAARC member states has become indispensable for socio-economic development of the region and investment from China can help South Asian economies to grow in sustainable manner.

Mr. Iftikhar Ali Malik, Vice President-SAARC CCI (Pakistan Chapter)\ speculated that China South Asian Business Forum could stimulate joint venture of Chinese investment in South Asian region. He appreciated the role of CSABF as an important podium to improve communication and collaboration among the private sectors of China and South Asia, adding that since the inception of the CSABF, bilateral trade between China and South Asia had witnessed tremendous growth rate of 15% per annum. With his vote of thanks to chair and the participants, particularly to Mr. Macky Hashim and Mr, M.K. Saharia, the open session came to conclusion. The session was moderated by Mr. Iqbal Tabish. The close session was held under the chair of Mr. Macky Hashim in which the participants decided Maldives to take over as rotating Chair of the 11th CSABF and had detailed deliberations to identify topic and themes for the Forum-2016.

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