DHAKA, May 25, 2023 (BSS) - The president of the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) Md. Jashim Uddin has taken charge as the president of the SAARC Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI), the apex trade body of the South Asian region.
He will be serving the SCCI as its president for the term 2023-24. The SAARC CCI arranged a colorful event at a city hotel in this regard, said a press release.
The new President of SAARC CCI Md. Jashim Uddin said that South Asia with its diversified resources and skilled workforce has tremendous potential be the fastest-growing exporting region to the globe.
"As we begin this new tenure, our region is experiencing rapid economic growth, but we must also confront a range of complex issues and barriers to trade that limits cross-border regional trade," he added.
The Intra-trade among SAARC countries continues to be low ranging between 5-7% of total trade. In addition, this is declining every year. "On the other hand, we are seeing increased integration in other regional blocks,"
He said Intra-regional trade is over 40% in NAFTA, 68% in EU, 27% in ASEAN. Their economic integration is directly tied to their GDP per capita, higher productivity and, lower poverty and unemployment, he added.
The new SCCI president said that it is imperative for all to draw lessons from the successes achieved by other regional agreements, and channel their experiences of regional identity and solidarity into our efforts to propel SAARC towards new heights.
"It is our responsibility to find innovative and sustainable solutions to these challenges, and to work together to create a brighter future for the people of our region," he opined.
The priority will be given to enhance collaboration on sectors with high growth potential such as information technology, manufacturing, energy, tourism, and agribusiness that derive tangible results, the SCCI President added.
While speaking as the guest of honour, Foreign Minister Dr. A.K. Abdul Momen said, Bangladesh always promotes trust and friendship among neighbors.
South Asia is one of the fastest-growing economies in the world. "We have a lot of potential, but unfortunately, we are still lagging behind to seize all the opportunities,"
The Foreign Minister said that the close partnership of the business communities can bring economic prosperity to South Asia. Tariff and Non-tariff barriers should be decreased. "I hope SCCI will play a significant role here.
Prime Minister's Private Industry and Investment Adviser Salman F Rahman said that there is huge potential in South Asia. But unfortunately, we are facing some artificial political barriers. We need to address these problems to make the South Asian region a prosperous one. The SCCI can make the chance to get advantage of the regional benefit."
FBCCI Senior Vice President Mostofa Azad Chowdhury said that SAARC CCI is the only platform for the South Asian Business Community to network, collaborate and foster partnerships with the common business people of the region.
For inclusive economic growth in the SAARC region, SAARC CCI has the responsibility to identify the existing bilateral and multilateral tariff and non-tariff barriers, connectivity, and other challenges, heards and recognition for his contributions to the business community and the economy of Bangladesh.
President of Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) Irfan Iqbal Sheikh, Former President of SAARC CCI (Sri Lanka) Macky Hashim, Former President of SAARC CCI (Sri Lanka) Ruwan Ediringehe, Former Cabinet Minister of the Government of Maldives Mariyam Shakeela, Former President of SAARC CCI (Sri Lanka) Ruwan Ediringehe,
Vice President of SAARC CCI (Nepal), and Past President of the Federation of Nepal Chamber of Commerce & Industry (FNCCI) Chandi Raj Dhakal, Vice President of India -Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce & Industry (IBCCI)Sanjay Basu, Vice President of SAARC CCI (from Pakistan) Anjum Nisar,
EC Member of Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce & Industry Janaqa Siddiqui and others business leaders from Bangladesh and SAARC nations were present at the program.