South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation Chamber of Commerce and Industry to set up Industrial Park to promote investment and trade in South Asia

Islamabad, April 16, 2016 (PPI-OT):South Asian region has huge potential to boost intra-regional trade and SAARC Chamber of Commerce and Industry was working on a plan to set up SAARC Industrial Park to promote investment and trade in SAARC countries, observed Suraj Vaidya, newly elected President, SAARC Chamber of Commerce and Industry while addressing business community at Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

He said the proposal has already been discussed with President of Afghanistan and his team, Pakistan’s Federal Minister for Commerce and other relevant high government officials for obtaining land for SAARC Industrial Park and other SAARC members would also be consulted for materialization of this plan. He said China achieved phenomenal economic growth by setting up industrial parks and SAARC Industrial Park would be an export-oriented venture to give boost to investment and trade among SAARC countries.

He said his key focus would be on investment in SAARC Region because despite establishment of SAARC 30 years ago, this region was least still integrated. He said SAARC countries have to decide whether they wanted to lead or to be led by others and added that time had come for SAARC countries to take lead towards economic integration and fast growth. He said private sector of SAARC Region has to play leading role in promoting intraregional trade and assured that SAARC CCI would work with SAARC countries for removal of tariff and non-tariff barriers to improve regional trade.

Suraj Vaidya said the strength of South Asia was in its huge youth population and SAARC CCI was working on a plan to create “Angel Investors South Asia” (AISA) to provide a forum for entrepreneurial-minded members to invest in early stage businesses in the region. He said SAARC CCI will leverage its network resources to identify potential innovative entrepreneurs in SAARC Region and AISA will provide capital ranging from 2.5 million to 50 million to such entrepreneurs to convert their business ideas into successful commercial ventures. He said the plan was to create 200 commercial ventures annually.

In his welcome address, Atif Ikram Sheikh, President, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry said that SAARC Region was home to one fifth of world’s population, but despite huge potential for growth, the region has kept its people deprived of the benefits of regional economic integration.

He said SAARC CCI should take the lead for promoting interconnectivity in private sectors of SAARC countries and removal of all NTBs to improve intraregional trade. Former Presidents FPCCI Zubair Ahmed Malik and Mian Muhammad Adrees as well as Vice President FPCCI Zafar Bakhtawari and others also spoke at the occasion as stressed for strong economic integration in SAARC countries to unleash its economic potential for huge population of this region.

For more information, contact:
Khalid Chaudhry
Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI)
Chamber House, Aiwan-e-Sanat-o-Tijarat Road,
Mauve Area, G-8/1,
Islamabad, Pakistan
Tel: +9251 225 0526, 2253145, 8432676
Fax: +9251 225 2950