‘SL govt should lead the way in resolving SAARC issues’

The Sri Lanka government should take the leadership on behalf of the SAARC private sector to discuss major issues that hamper the economic prosperity in the region with other member countries urged SAARC Chamber of Commerce and Industry President Suraj Vaidya.

Also relevant authorities should be persuaded to allow at least two years of business visas for the business leaders of the region to promote trade and investment in the region.

Noting that Sri Lanka as a forward looking and private sector friendly government which has tremendous respect in South Asia, Vidaya said that as SAARC private sector is keen to grow as a fraternity, the private sector expects Sri Lankan government to take the leadership on behalf of the private sector to address issues with other governments that hamper the growth of the region to a greater extent.

He was speaking at the SAARC Investment Forum and Trade Fair Press conference held in Colombo yesterday.

Terming SAARC as an extremely complex animal and difficult regional body, Vaidya said it is high time to show the world that the region is capable of achieving bigger things as it moves forward.

“I think this is where smaller countries need to bring about the harmony and the unity among the fraternity of south Asia,”he said.

According to Vaidya, SAARC is being looked at as a entity and is the faster growing economic bloc with an annual growth rate about 7% in GDP when compared with other regional blocs such as European Union, ASEAN and NAFTA.

“If we don’t appreciate the numbers that are coming out; we will have serious problems.It is really up to us to show how we want to be a part of that growth and how much we can deliver to the business community by moving forward. In reality in South Asia, most of our young , healthy intellectuals have left their countries and are working in other parts of the world, so the remittance becomes an important part of our economy.”

The annual SAARC Trade Fair and Investment geared to pave way for economic and social cooperation between its member countries will be held in Colombo and the trade fair is scheduled to take place from September 7-9 while the investment forum will take place on September 6. 

 


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