Speakers at RCCI VITF urge to revive SAARC


RAWALPINDI, MAR 3 (DNA) – The Rawalpindi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (RCCI) organized Virtual International Trade Forum (Chapter SAARC) here on Wednesday. The purpose of the trade forum was to make the business community aware of trade and export opportunities in SAARC countries.

The forum was attended by President Nasir Mirza, Senior Vice President Osman Ashraf, Vice President Shahraiz A Malik, Chairman regional trade Khurshid Berlas, Zubair Malik, Executive member SAARC Chamber,  Ahsan Ali Mangi, President Pak-Afghan Chamber Zubair Motiwala, Deputy Secretary Ministry of Commerce Fahad Raza, Ms. Assma Kamal , Trade and Investment Attache Sri Lanka, Suleman Khan, Trade and Investment Attache  Bangladesh and Asif Khan, Trade and Investment Counsellor Afghanistan.

President RCCI Nasir Mirza in his welcome address said that the South Asian Association of Regional Cooperation (SAARC) was founded in 1985 with the aim of promoting socio-economic development within the member states but unfortunately the member countries could not materialized the true potential of this forum

SAARC region with its significant economic power, vast natural resources, and dynamic workforce, has a huge development potential which needs exploration in the better interest of all member nations, he added.

RCCI chief said that regional cooperation has the potential to produce significant gains across all countries of South Asia. Intraregional trade now stands at just one-third of its potential with $23 billion annually.

Zubair Motiwala, Chairman Pakistan Afghanistan Joint Chamber of Commerce & Industry (PAJCCI), acknowledged initiatives of RCCI for organizing the SAARC trade forum and raising the voice of the business community with respect to regional trade.

He said SAARC should not be played in the hands of one country and the member countries should synergize their efforts for promoting trade ties excluding India.

Commercial Secretary Dhaka, Salman Khan said that there is a huge potential to increase bilateral trade between Pakistan and Bangladesh, adding that Business Visas relaxation traiff barriers and flight issues has been raised at the Government levels.

Ms. Assma Kamal , Trade and Investment Attache Sri Lanka said that the recent visit of Prime Minister Imran Khan to Sri Lanka has put a positive image and two countries have agreed to further strengthen bilateral relations in diverse areas, including trade, and tourism through enhanced connectivity.

The SAARC region is composed of Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and the Maldives. Though it is home to around a quarter of the world’s population, the region accounts for just under seven per cent of the world’s GDP.=DNA