SAARC members urged to work together for trade
ISLAMABAD: South Asian countries urgently need to work together with a strong business agenda in services trade as the SAARC region possess a huge potential to be fully exploited for promotion of trade to usher in an era of progress, development and prosperity.
This was stated by SAARC Chamber vice president Iftikhar Ali Malik, while talking to a visiting delegation of SAARC traders on Monday.
He said, “SAARC countries must collaborate together with a very strong business agenda to take advantage of our geographical proximity, cultural similarities and economic complementary that we all have in this region.”
Besides boosting trade, there is a dire need to promote tourism in the region, as there is much scope and, if the tourism sector is exploited fully, billions of rupees could be earned annually by the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) member countries, he added.
Pakistan is looking at widening the ambit “so that we make these opportunities in our region a reality and improve the level of prosperity and economic development in this region”, he said.
There are other areas too that the SAARC countries should work on, such as formulating standards and working with different departments and states to improve ecosystem to boost services trade.
Malik urged the governments of SAARC member countries to adopt policies helpful to push export sector in regional trade agreements, while looking at issues of competitiveness across sectors in the form of reforms and liberalisation and focusing on the trade policy.
The energy needs in the region are growing with each passing day. To bring sizeable population out of poverty net and achieve economic growth, countries need to work together to ensure universal access to sustainable and affordable energy, he added.
He stressed the need for optimisation of renewable energy potential in the region, measures to promote green energy, and establishment of regional energy grid.