Published Date: Sep 4, 2012
5TH SOUTH ASIA ECONOMIC SUMMIT TO BEGIN FROM SEPTEMBER 11
Fifth South Asia Economic Summit will discuss chronic economic challenges being faced by South Asia and find regional solutions to meet sustainable development goals in the region, said Dr Vaqar Ahmed, Head Economic Growth Unit, Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI), while briefing media on an upcoming regional economic summit, here on Monday.
President Zardari is expected to inaugurate the event, whereas Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar would address the closing ceremony as chief guest. Sharing details, Dr Vaqar Ahmed, Head Economic Growth Unit, SDPI said upcoming ‘Fifth South Asia Economic Summit 2012’, starting from September 11-13 in Islamabad will host 200 delegates from South Asia, whereas around 3000 people are participating in the event from all across Pakistan. The SDPI would organise the event where ministers, senior government policymakers, economists, academician, businessmen, and civil society representatives would participate.
“South Asia is the least economically integrated region in the world, which necessitates greater regional economic co-operation for pro-poor growth and sustainable development in the region,” said Dr Vaqar. He said that through the summit, we want make the statement that despite security conditions, Pakistan is open for business and ready for investment. He briefed participants on the importance of the summit in backdrop of issues such as negative effects of global and eurozone financial crisis, non-traditional security threats, basic infrastructure and social services in the region, lack of communication connectivity and engaging youth and Diaspora.
Started in 2008, the South Asia Economic Summit (SAES) engage leading policy makers from South Asian to discuss a regional approach to issues of mutual concerns and also to learn from home grown solutions to common predicaments that can be replicated elsewhere in South Asia. Over the past four years, the event has become the ‘South Asian Davos’ following the example of World Economic Forum. The previous Summits’ were held in Sri Lanka, India, Nepal and Bangladesh respectively.
The overarching theme for this year’s summit is “Making Growth Inclusive and Sustainable in South Asia.” It is focused on framing observations and recommendations for the 18th Saarc Summit to be held in Nepal next year. Linking leading policy makers, politicians and civil-servants with the experts already involved in Track-I and Track-II level of South Asian development agenda, the summit delivers a framework for multi-sector collaboration.
Key leaders in this year’s Summit include: Jairam Ramesh- Minister for Rural Development, India, Sarath Amunugama- Senior Minister for International Monetary Co-operation, Sri Lanka, Sham L. Bathija- Minister and Senior Adviser for Economic Affairs to President of Afghanistan, Gowher Rizvi- Adviser International Affairs to Prime Minister of Bangladesh, Yuba Raj Khatiwada- Governor Central Bank of Nepal.
Muchkund Dubey- Former Indian Foreign Secretary and co-chairman SACEPS, Khalid Malik- Director, Human Development Report, United Nations, New York, Tariq Banuri- Former Director, Division for Sustainable Development, United Nations, New York, Vikramjit Singh Sahney- President SAARC Chamber of Commerce and Industry, India, Saman Kelegama- Executive Director, Institute of Policy Studies, Sri Lanka, Syeduzzaman- Former Finance Minister, Bangladesh, Shahidur Rashid- Senior Research Fellow, International Food Policy Research Institute, Mirwais Rahimzai- Civil Society’s Co-ordination Center, Afghanistan and Kalpana Kochhar-Chief Economist, World Bank South Asia beside large number of other delegates.