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The Daily Star

Published Date: Oct 14, 2016

South Asia economic summit begins tomorrow

A two-day summit on regional economies will start in Dhaka on Saturday under the theme – “reimagining South Asia in 2030”.
The Centre for Policy Dialogue will jointly host this year’s conference — Ninth South Asia Economic Summit — along with other leading South Asian think-tanks, CPD said in a statement.
The objective of this year’s summit is to advance the cause of regional integration in South Asia through discussion and reflections by stakeholders on key issues of interest and concern to countries and people of the region.
Within the overarching broad theme, the ninth summit will focus on a set of cross-cutting issues and a cluster of thematic issues that would deliberate on envisioning South Asia in 2030.
South Asia accounts for only 3 percent of the world’s surface area, yet the region is home to about 1.75 billion people, about one-fifth of the world population. By 2030, the region is likely to represent about one-fourth of the world population with India expected to become the largest country in population size, surpassing China by about 2022.
Consequently, South Asia has the highest population density in the world and a majority of its population still resides in rural areas.  However, over the next decades, it is expected that the region will have faster urbanisation growth and may outpace the rest of the world. More than 60 participants, including policymakers, experts and academics, trade and industry leaders, representatives of the civil society and grassroots groups, and development partners from the region and beyond will attend the summit. It will take place at Hotel Le Méridien in Dhaka.
Five leading think-tanks of South Asia took the initiative of organising the summit in 2008 to discuss socio-economic issues in the region.
The think tanks are CPD of Bangladesh, Institute of Policy Studies of Sri Lanka, Research and Information System for Developing Countries of India, Sustainable Development Policy Institute of Pakistan and South Asia Watch on Trade, Economics and Environment of Nepal.