Successful Completion of the Third SAARC Business Leaders Conclave
The inauguration of the third SAARC Business Leaders Conclave took place on November 22 at the Colombo Hilton with Hon. Rathnasiri Wickramanayake Prime Minister gracing the occasion as the Chief Guest. The conclave was jointly organized by the SAARC Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Sri Lanka with “Regional Cooperation for Socio – Economic Development in South Asia” being the theme.
The conclave focused its primary attention on how best to involve the regional community in a practical manner, in order to achieve regional economic cooperation, whilst obtaining the assistance of both the state and private sectors. In addition, discussions also centered on transforming economic principles towards a positive thinking aspects, by way of increased participation of Ministers and Public officials of SAARC countries in related projects, as well as the development process. Other areas taken up for dialogue at the conclave included Socio – Economic challenges, financial problems, conflict, food shortages, agricultural and investment inter – activities, facilitation of trade, regional cooperation, and trade services etc. There were discourse between business leaders and agricultural investors too.
Focus was also drawn towards encouraging activities aimed at uplifting the tourism and cultural sectors, water resources and Socio-cultural aspects. Delegates discussed further, regarding routing applicable towards assisting the development of joint ventures in the private sectors, safeguarding economic dividends to the trade community, obtaining first-hand knowledge in regard to sectors which could be developed in Asian countries, as well as direct involvement targeting enhancement of economic cooperation amongst SAARC nations and diversification of regional trade cum investment. Bi-Lateral and regional efforts, in order to strengthen economic and political ties of SAARC countries, received special attention of the delegates.
Kosala Wickramanayake President of the Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Sri Lanka in his welcome address states that hosting the largest business conclave in South Asia was a privilege for the Chamber and that it opened up new vistas of opportunities for the local business community to interact with their Asian business counterparts.
Over 300 businessmen, representing India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, Maldives and Nepal participated at the conclave.