SAARC Chamber of Commerce and Industry vows to promote regional trade, peace

Islamabad: South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) on Friday vowed to play more active role in promoting trade, peace and development in the region aimed at political stability.

Governments and business community must utilise the SAARC Chambers’ Forum to develop cordial relations between the member states, said Iftikhar Ali Malik, Vice President SAARC Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Malik said this while speaking at a reception hosted by SAARC Chamber in honour of Rajinder Kumar Sharma, outgoing Commercial Counsellor of Indian High Commission and his successor Arvind Saxena.

He lauded the initiative of Pakistan and India to ease visa restrictions saying it will help break the logjam to further expand bilateral relations at the people-to-people level.

Malik further said that Pakistani business community will continue to strive to further strengthen its special and cordial relations with all SAARC countries to boost economic and trade activities in the region.

“RK Sharma has played a historic role in enhancing commercial ties between Pakistan and India at a time when trade was threatened,” said Malik adding that arms race will lead us nowhere while struggle for prosperity will help everyone.

At the occasion, Secretary General SAARC CCI Iqbal Tabish Pakistan and India, the major players in the grouping, should enjoy a special relationship in the days ahead which is in the interest of everyone.

He said that the efforts of Mr. Sharma for a change are visible enough and we are losing a very competent officer.

He called upon civil society, traders and parliaments of the SAARC countries to work together to promote trade, commerce, and regional cooperation.

Tabish said that it is responsibility of every individual to realize the objectives of the SAARC CCI, besides contributing to peace, harmony, understanding and progress.

“SAARC is capable of eliminating the ever increasing poverty from region, which generates less than 2 per cent of world income, supports 22 per cent of world population and 44 percent of the world’s poor,” Tabish informed.

Mr. Sharma said that Pakistani business community is blessed with very honest, competent and committed leadership like Tariq Sayeed, Iftikhar Ali Malik and Ghulam Ali.

The untiring efforts of Pakistani business leaders to bridge gaps and create linkages between Pakistan and India have resulted in strengthened relations which is helping 1.4 billion people of South Asia , he said.

Our dream of poverty reduction will only come true rapidly if the business community of two countries continue pushing their positive agenda, he said.

VP FPCCI, Fazal Elahi, Chairman FPCCI Capital Office Hameed Akhtar Chadda, Chairman Coordination Raza Khan, former VP FPCCI Malik Zubair, Kanwar Qutubuddin, President ICCI Mahfooz Elahi, President RCCI Syed Ali Raza, Chairman Media Malik Sohail Hussain and other prominent business leaders were also present on the occasion.

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