SAARC Chamber and FCCISL organize Roundup

SAARC Chamber and FCCISL organize Roundup on 16th SAARC Summit
Deepening Economic Integration: Strengthening Role of
Private Sector in Regional Initiatives
September 30, 2010 at Cinnamon Grand, Colombo

One-day Roundup on 16th SAARC Summit-Deepening Economic Integration: Strengthening Role of Private Sector in Regional Initiatives was jointly organized by SAARC Chamber of Commerce & Industry (SAARC CCI) and Federation of Chamber of Commerce & Industry of Sri Lanka (FCCISL) in partnership with Friedrich-Naumann-Stiftung für die Freiheit with sponsors Commercial Bank of Sri Lanka and Sri Lanka Convention Bureau on 30th September, 2010- at Cinnamon Grand, Colombo. The roundup was inaugurated by Hon’ble Rishad Bathiudeen, Minister of Industry & Commerce, Government of Sri Lanka and addressed by Mr. Annisul Huq- President SAARC CCI, Mr. Kosala Wickramanayake- President FCCISL, Mr. Iqbal Tabish- Secretary General SAARC CCI and Mr. Tissa Jayaweera, Snr. VP FCCISL & GA Member SAARC CCI.

The 16th SAARC Summit of South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) concluded in April 2010 at Thimphu, Bhutan issued declarations on regional cooperation and climate change, which also emphasizes on increasing regional cooperation on trade and tourism, improving inter-connectivity, promoting people-to-people contacts and evolving joint strategy for resolving issues in the region. Responding to the demand of SAARC CCI, the Heads of States have welcomed the signing of Agreement on Trade and Service, which will open new vistas of trade co-operation and further deepen integration of regional economies.

Main objective of the Roundup was to analytically review the economic decisions of the Heads of States at 16th SAARC Summit recently concluded in Bhutan. Eminent Speakers from SAARC countries shared their views on important economic issues. In light of deliberation, the SAARC CCI will undertake/suggest coordinated efforts earnestly required to propel the economic activities in the region.

The Inaugural session was followed by three sessions, namely “evaluating decisions and implementation-historical perspective of SAARC”, “making SAARC a success-Dealing with core issues” and “SAFTA: want of implementation strategy”.

A comprehensive line of experts including ministers, university professors, chamber personalities, academics and professionals representing trade, industry and commerce in the South Asian Countries presented and shared their vistas as to how the decisions taken at the recently concluded SAARC Summit make a reality for region’s economic prosperity.

Session one on “Evaluating decisions and implementation- historical perspective of SAARC” was chaired by Mr. Nihal Rodrigo-former Foreign Secretary and Secretary General SAARC and addressed by prominent speakers from the region including Mr. Riaz Hamidullah, Director-Bangladesh at SAARC Secretariat- Kathmandu, Mr. Madhukar SJB Rana, Former Finance Minister-Nepal. The respondents to the session were Dr. Saman Kalegama-Executive Director-IPS-Sri Lanka, Mr. Abdur Rob Khan-Associate Professor- International Relations- North South University- Bangladesh and Mr. Mujeeb Ahmed Khan-Head WTO Wing-Trade Development Authority of Pakistan.

Working session two on “Making SAFTA a success – Dealing with core issues” was chaired by Dr. Thusitha Tennakoon-Secretary General FCCISL and addressed by prominent speakers from the region include Dr. Nawal K Paswan- Asst. Professor- Centre for South Asian Studies- Jawaharlal Nehru University- India, Dr. Saj Mendis- Director General- Ministry of Economic Development-Sri Lanka and Mr. Abdur Rob Khan- Associate Professor- International Relations- North South University- Bangladesh. The panel discussant comprised of Mr. Abdul Wassay Haqiqi- Senior Advisor to the Ministry of Economy- Professor-American University of Afghanistan- Lecturer & VC-Bakhter University-Afghanistan and Mr. H.M. Wijeratne-Acting Director- Department of Commerce- Sri Lanka.

Working session three on “SAFTA: Want of implementation Strategy” was chaired by Mr. Macky Hashim-Past President SAARC CCI and addressed by Mr. Tilak Collure-Secretary- Ministry of Industry & Commerce- Government of Sri Lanka, Mr. Mujeeb Ahmed Khan- Head WTO Wing- Trade Development Authority of Pakistan and Mr. Deshal deMel- Research Officer- IPS – Sri Lanka. The panel discussant comprised of Mr. Shahrukh Malik-Snr. Executive Guard Group & Chairman SYEF –Pakistan and Mr. Kumar Mallimaratchi- Vice President- FCCISL.

As another important event of the roundup, business to business meetings have been planned for several product & service sectors.