LAHORE Aug 13 : Sri Lankan Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa Thursday congratulated Iftikhar Ali Malik on his success in the election as President South Asian Association for Regional Co-operation (SAARC) Chamber of Commerce and Industry for a term of two years.In his message, ” Sri Lankan PM extending best wishes said he is also highly impressive about the views of Iftikhar Ali Malik that the positive engagements of the SAARC countries and its cooperation with private sector is a solution for wide spread poverty and unemployment of the region”. He further hoped that ” given the long standing cordial relationship between our two countries will contribute positively to achieve the goals of SAARC Chamber of Commerce and Industry”. ” Mahinda Rajapaksa finally assured that his support and patronage is guaranteed to,Iftikhar Ali Malik and SAARC Chamber of Commerce and Industry to carry forward its mandate for the development of the region”. He also thanked Iftikhar Ali Malik for his compliments and best wishes extended to him with regard to his election campaign.Iftikhar Malik thanked Sri Lankan PM for congratulation and conveyed his message to himthat he would do his best to promote regional trade and Pakistan had advanced its belief that a secure and peaceful environment in South Asia was crucial for the advancement of region’s development and prosperity.He assured that he would play a positive role in further strengthening regional cooperation.He said holding position of President of SAARC CCI meant renewing impetus amongst the member states and therefore was significant.Iftikhar Malik said SAARC region possessed all resources to become an economic giant but only need is to set directions with zeal, courage and sincerity. He said region’s huge mineral resources could help get rid of the economic ills and help alleviate poverty besides overcoming unemployment.Reiterating his earlier stance, he said Prime Minister Imran Khan will continue utilise his best leadership flair and available resources for the promotion of trade and industry in South Asian region. He said Pakistan had always strived to make the regional body a vibrant vehicle for mutual cooperation based on the principle of sovereign equality.He said that SAARC had immense potential for strengthening the economies of the member countries and to promote collaboration in various areas of mutual significance.
“The organisation needs to work towards achieving economic, cultural and social growth of the region,” he said, calling for increased level of connectivity among the SAARC member states for a prosperous region.