The 6th SAARC Business Leaders Conclave was held on March 16 at Kathmandu, marking direct interactive discussions between the influential political and business leaders of the South Asian economy. The leaders discussed the importance of integration among the South Asian countries to attract Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) from across the region, as well as from overseas.
Speaking at various sessions held during the conclave, the partakers argued that strengthening connectivity and trade in South Asia is vital to promote shared economic prosperity in the region.
“Without a strong connectivity, we cannot move towards the direction of economic development in the region,” said Pushpa Kamal Dahal, Nepal’s former Prime Minister.
Salman F Rahman, vice chairman of Beximco Group and private sector development adviser to the Prime Minister of Bangladesh, said that the South Asian countries should seek consequential cooperation by overcoming bilateral political discrepancies.
“Unfortunately, domestic political issues take precedence over the broader development, and inhibit the exploitation of the immense potential of the region towards holistic economic growth,” Salman F Rahman stated.
Chandra Kumar Ghimire, secretary of the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Supplies, stated that the SAARC nations are endeavoring for regional integration and economic prosperity since the 1980s, but to no avail.
“Apart from sharing vulnerability and poverty, we must also share the prosperity within the region,” said Ghimire. He also said that there was an urgent need for appropriate policy to attract FDI.
Furthermore, Sohail F Rahman, the Chairman of Beximco Group, appealed to the nations to boost bilateral dialogues, in order to strengthen regional cooperation. This practice is expected to promote the shared prosperity for all SAARC nations.
The three-day conclave broadly discussed the means of universal prosperity amid SAARC nations, fostering trade and investment relations among SAARC nations, economic and political differences, and the SAARC’s role in integrating the global economy. Over 300 delegates from across South Asia participated in the event.