SAARC CCI delegation meeting with Commerce Secretary, Government of India

Led by President Mr. Suraj Vaidya, SAARC CCI visited Commerce Ministry, Government of India at New Delhi and met Ms. Rita Teaotia, Commerce Secretary on 18th April 2016.  President thanked the Secretary for sparing time and providing SAARC CCI delegation to exchange views of South Asian economic Affairs.
President SAARC CCI briefed about strategic planning of the organization for next two years and unfolded six point agenda and sought assistance of the Ministry for  endorsement of CEO Forum, as joint initiative of SAARC CCI and SAARC Secretariat in the fortcoming SAFTA Ministerial Round.  President SAARC CCI also informed that in order to promote cross-border trade and investment particularly to enhance cooperation in Industrial Sector, SAARC CCI is planning to set up SAARC Industrial Parks in member countries. He further added that during visit of SAARC CCI delegation, Government of Afghanistan, Pakistan had agreed to provide sizeable piece of land. He also presented idea for Business/ Investors Angels for promotion of youth entrepreneurship.

Secretary Commerce who was assisted by Shri Bhupinder Singh Bhalla, Joint Secretary, appreciated the vision of SAARC CCI leadership and assured of their fullest cooperation in taking SAARC Visa Exemption Sticker and creation of SAARC CEO Forum as a joint initiatives of SAARC Secretariat and SAARC CCI. She also briefed the delegation about India commitment to move SAFTA ahead by reduction of tariff, sensitively list and to reduce the barriers. She termed SATIS important documents which need ratification from all member countries to expand scope of cooperation in South Asia.
Group photo of SAARC CCI delegation with Shri Bhupinder Singh Bhalla,
Joint Secretary, Department of Commerce, Govt of India.
Group photo of SAARC CCI Delegation with Ms. Rita Teaotia, Commerce Secretary, Govt of India.

In addition to meeting in Commerce Department, Mr. Vaidya also led a delegation for a meeting with Mr. Prashant Agrawal, Director, SAARC South Asia, wherein he briefed about the activities of SAARC CCI in next two years, which aimed at enhancing trade, investment, industrial cooperation, youth entrepreneurship and. He, whoever, empathized for promotion of people-to-people connectivity particularly free movement of Businessman to augment intra-regional trade and economic cooperation and requested the Ministry of External Affairs to pursue pro-business visa policy under the vision of Prime Minister Modi, who presented the idea of SAARC Travelers Pass on the occasion of the 18th SAARC Summit, held in November 2014 at Kathmandu.
Mr. Vikramjit Singh Sahney, Former President and Chair of SAARC CCI advisory Council demanded at least 1000 SAARC visa stickers for each member states with validity of two years so that the private sector could play its due role, which was hampered due to stringent SAARC Visa Exemption Scheme.
Director South Asia/SAARC, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, while welcoming the delegation conveyed the best wishes of Ms. Sushma Sooraj, Hon’ble Minister for External Affairs, who was on visit to abroad. He appreciated the vision of SAARC CCI leadership and termed role of Private Sector as Engine of Growth. He was of the opinion that movement of people particularly business was crucial to enhance economic cooperation and informed that Government of India was working on modalities of SAARC travelers Pass under the vision of Prime Minister Modi. He also assured of looking into SAARC Visa Exemption related issues as a matter of priority.

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