SAARC Chamber of Commerce & Industry (SAARC CCI) in collaboration with China Council for Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT-Sichuan) co-organized “7th South Asia- Sichuan Business Promotion Round-Table Conference”, hosted by CCPIT Sichuan Council, in Chengdu, China on 4th November, 2016.
The conference was organized with an objective to promote economic and trade cooperation between Chengdu and South Asian countries, while integrating opportunities associated with China’s new Silk Road Economic Belt and 21st Century Maritime Silk Road. The conference aimed to addressInfrastructure Development, Industrial transfer and standardization of cooperation with South Asian Countries.
Mr. Suraj Vaidya, President, SAARC CCI led a delegation to participate in the said conference. Delegation from all SAARC CCI National member organization and representatives from the Sichuan business community attended the Conference.
Mr. Suraj Vaidya, President SAARC CCI, while addressing the inaugural session of the conference said ‘Today’s participation from South Asian countries is insignia of consistent and a long term mutually beneficial relationship between Sichuan Province and the South Asian countries’. 'Over the past five years, our trade volume has achieved very rapid growth, so the potential for cooperation is enormous’ he further added. Mr. Vaidya shared that China and South Asia, being the two oldest civilizations as well as neighbors, possess tremendous potential yet to be unleashed through meaningful cooperation in areas of mutual interest. ‘China is an economic ocean and South Asia has the potential to become a part of the ocean’ Mr. Vaidya commented. In view of the global recession, especially in the Western world which is saturated in terms of economic growth, South Asia is an ideal potential and preferred partner for China, considering it’s population size, demographics and the emerging middle class.
Mr. Vaidya further commented ‘we often say that we have enormous potential but unfortunately we fail to define our potential’. While referring to a recent publication by SAARC CCI, Mr. Vaidya shared that fifteen to twenty projects have been identified from each SAARC country for investment. He also enlightened the participants on SAARC CCI initiatives including the first ever SAARC Industrial Park to be established in Faisalabad, Pakistan. Mr. Vaidya invited and encouraged Chinese companies to investment in SAARC,review the identified projects by SAARC CCII and participate in the SAARC Industrial park project. Mr. Vaidya positioned the cooperation between CCPIT and SAARC CCI as an engine of growth.
Mr. Tang Jian, Vice Chairman of Sichuan Committee of Chinese Political Consultative Conference, in his address acknowledged SAARC CCI’s support for successfully organizing the 7th South Asia-Sichuan Business Forum in Chengdu. ‘The South Asia-Sichuan Business Forum initiative is a great help in bridging the gap between China and South Asian Countries’ said Mr. Tang Jian. The journey started seven years ago in 2010 with the signing of an MoU with SAARC CCI and its member bodies. ’We are actively investing in infra structure development of all South Asian countries’ said Mr. Jian. Furthermore, Mr Jian shared information on theinvestment in the thermal project of 8 billion dollars in Pakistan and the Chengdu Bus Company agreement with the government of Bangladesh.
The inaugural session was moderated by Mr. Mohammad Saqib, Secretary General of India China Economic & Cultural Council and addressed by Mr. Li Tang, President, CCPIT Sichuan, Mr. Xu Liang, Deputy Director, IR, CCPIT , Mr. Mohammad Anees, Deputy Minister of Maldives Economic Development and Mr. Zhang Xiaogang, Chairman ISO.
The inaugural session was followed by a focused session on “Construction and Development of Infrastructure in South Asian Countries’, which was chaired by Mr. Suraj Vaidya and addressed by Mr. Mohammad Younas Hussain, Vice President of SAARC CCI from Afghanistan, Mr. Janan Mosazai, Ambassador of Afghanistan, Mr. Zubair Ahmed Malik, Executive Committee Member (Pakistan), Mr. Kosala Wickramanayake, Former VP, SAARC CCI from Afghanistan, Mr. Harischandra, Ghirmire, Charge d’ Affiares, Nepal Embassy, Mr. Anoop Bhattarai, President of Nepal, China Executive Council, Ms. Amna Baloch, Council General of Pakistan, Mr. Shankar Ranganathan, Assistant VP, Invest India, DIPP, Ministry of Commerce, Govt of Pakistan and Mr. Om Bahadur Rajbhandari, Vice President, SAARC CCI (Nepal).
On this occasion, the signing of MoU between CCPIT Sichuan and Karnataka Government and Enterprises of Maldives and Sichuan took place later in the day. Mr. Tang Jian, Vice Chairman of Sichuan Committee of Chinese Political Consultative Conference hosted a dinner in honor of SAARC CCI delegates, prior to the roundtable conference.