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May 22, 2018

Joint ventures among SAARC nations urged to alleviate poverty


May 22, 2018

ISLAMABAD: Better exchange, cooperation and building of joint ventures among SAARC countries would lead to development, and help alleviate poverty in the region, a senior official of the SAARC Chamber of Commerce and Industry said on Monday.

SAARC chamber Senior Vice President Iftikhar Ali Malik, while talking to a five member SAARC chamber delegation said, “It is time to ensure that SAARC’s trade and industry comes up to a level where it can be truly perceived as an integrated community.”

He urged the industry to develop a concrete, doable and progressive roadmap to tap the benefits of diverse sectors and resources of the SAARC member states. “Pakistani government is fully committed to assist the SAARC community to remove the roadblocks to trade,” he said.

It was time now for Pakistani businessmen to avail good business opportunities in the South Asian region, the SVP said, while expressing optimism that all SAARC state members would dissolve their political and trade-related issues over the next 10 years.

“It will not be a single market like Europe. It will be a competitive market,” Malik added.

The SAARC chamber SVP stressed the urgent need for fully exploiting the indigenous natural resources and untapped mineral resources not only to improve but to strengthen the socio-economic conditions in the region on the pattern of trade blocs like North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), European Union (EU), Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), and Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA).

“We all have seen that times have changed the concept and the economic

prosperity and member countries have taken the lead which is much needed so that we all can take full benefits of the regional power to

eliminate poverty and bring self reliance and prosperity

in the region like other

global blocs of the world,” he added.

He said people of the region have not given up hope, and Pakistan’s role as the most important country in the region was vital.

“Also, every time a difficulty has cropped up in the region, Pakistan has offered help and fulfilled responsibilities,” the chamber official said.

He said Pakistan remained steadfast in its commitment to regional cooperation and connectivity for promoting peace and accelerating the pace of economic development.

The country has been following a policy to have friendly relations with the member countries of SAARC, he said, and pledged that he would do his best to forge good relations with all SAARC members with an aim to achieve the goal of economic integration within the subcontinent, for which removal of tariff and non-tariff barriers was a prerequisite.

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