SAARC Chamber President wants closer ties within the region

The SAARC Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI) President Mr. Macky Hashim expressed his deep gratitude at the prompt action taken by the Honourable Minister of Foreign Affairs Mr. Lakshman Kadirgamar P.C. Mr. Hashim who he met earlier this month with Mr. Nihal Abeysekera President, Federation of …

The SAARC Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI) President Mr. Macky Hashim expressed his deep gratitude at the prompt action taken by the Honourable Minister of Foreign Affairs Mr. Lakshman Kadirgamar P.C. Mr. Hashim who he met earlier this month with Mr. Nihal Abeysekera President, Federation of Chambers of Commerce & Industry of Sri Lanka (FCCISL) and Vice President FCCISL Mr. Kosala Wickramanayake at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to discuss many areas concerning the SAARC region. He requested the Honourable Minister to set up a SAARC Sector line at the Immigration in the Bandaranayake International Airport in order to recognise those travelling from the SAARC region. It was encouraging to see that the Minister who has always been a firm believer in the SAARC concept taking this prompt action. Both Mr. Hashim and Mr. Abeysekera expressed their appreciation to the Minister of Defence as well as the Foreign Minister for taking this bold step. Apart from Nepal due to the establishment of SAARC Secretariat no other SAARC Country has taken the initiative to recognise its peoples as forming one community. This concept was championed by Sri Lanka by this pro active stand taken by Sri Lanka in paving the way for other SAARC Countries to follow suit.

The Acting President of the Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce & Industry Mr. Arshad Alam, on his recent visit to Sri Lanka expressed his idea of working closer with Sri Lanka and also expressed his appreciation of recognising the SAARC members by Sri Lanka and the active involvement in bringing the focus of mutual cooperation to the SAARC.

Mr. Hashim who is back in Sri Lanka after attending the Regional Conference organised by the Bangladesh Institute of international and Strategic Studies in Dhaka as a resource person where he spoke of Implementing the SAFTA agreement: Challenges and Possible Road Map. The President of SCCI Mr. Hashim was of the view that FCCISL as the primary representative of the SCCI in Sri Lanka has an important role to play with regard to bringing the National Federations of the SAARC Chamber closer together. The FCCISL was instrumental in the formation of the SAARC Chamber and has worked towards the objectives of bringing the private sector into closer contact with the SAARC region.