Published Date: Sep 12, 2012
5TH SOUTH ASIA ECONOMIC SUMMIT REGIONAL CONNECTIVITY IN SOUTH ASIA URGED
Closer cooperation in the fields of trade, public diplomacy, and communication was advocated at the 5th South Asia Economic Summit which began in Islamabad on Tuesday. Speakers believed that, Pakistan and India can play a leading role for deeper regional integration as the two major nations of South Asia,
Over 114 foreign delegates, including ministers, economists and civil society members are participating in the 3-day summit that focuses on issues relating to South Asia economic outlook, impacts of global financial crisis, regional trade, energy cooperation, transport connectivity, and economic growth. The summit is being jointly sponsored by Pakistan’s Sustainable Development Policy Institute in collaboration with its regional partner think tanks.
Speaking at the inaugural session, Syed Naveed Qamar, Pakistan Federal Minister for Defence, stressed that “South Asian nations should rather focus on the issues that unite us rather than what divides us.”
Speaking at the summit, Mahendra P. Lama, Vice Chancellor, Central University of Sikkim, India maintained that “the dream of South Asian community could only be realized if we can transform our perception about borders from security centric perspective to a hub of socio-economic opportunities.”
Rajiva Wijesinha, Member of Parliament, Sri Lanka, emphasized on developing human resource through quality education and said “capacity building will greatly increase our productivity resulting in positive economic growth.”
“What South Asian region requires is breaking of barriers of mindset,” proposed Madhu Raman Acharya, former Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Nepal.
Suhrab Hossain, High Commissioner of Bangladesh noted that South Asian intra-regional trade stood at mere 5 per cent as against 25-30 percent in other regional blocs. In his welcome address, Dr Abid Qaiyum Suleri, SDPI Executive Director, eulogized the current leaderships of Pakistan and India for recent landmark initiatives.