ISLAMABAD, (APP): The business community leaders from South Asian countries have vehemently urged for deeper economic cooperation with China saying that this collaboration will usher an era of progress, prosperity, development, economic growth and welfare of the people of the region.
Talking to high-level trader delegation from SAARC countries here Saturday, Vice President SAARC Chamber Iftikhar Ali Malik said China-South Asia economic cooperation would change the global economic order to add prosperity in the region,” said a press release issued here.
He said South Asia is mired in several crisis and conflicts at the moment due to various unresolved political and geographical factors and all these issues would be resolved effectively through strong regional connectivity and business to business contacts. Highlighting the role of China in building a South Asian economy, he said China is the world’s second-largest economy and a global power. It has huge foreign reserves and is massively investing in infrastructure in different parts of the world.
The cash-strapped SAARC is in the dire need of money to tap into its natural resources. ìChina’s entry will undoubtedly bring dramatic economic changes to the region and the life of its people, he added. He said since the creation of this platform in 2006, the bilateral trade between China and the South Asian countries paced with the tremendous growth rate of 15 percent annually and from mere 25 billion dollars in 2006, increased to 113 billion dollars in 2017. He said that South Asia and Southeast Asia have become new driving engines for global economic growth in the region. Countries within this region are economically complementary and regional cooperation has great potential.
Iftikhar Ali Malik said Pakistan attaches great importance to its economic and trade relationship with China. He hoped that the China-South Asia Business Forum will become a good platform for the enhancement of cooperation with China, the promotion of regional integration and realization of regional prosperity. He further said on a special directive of SAARC Chamber president Suraj Vaidya a permanent desk has been established under the supervision of Secretary General SAARC Chamber Hina Saeed to facilitate all interested investors and businessmen from the member countries for the promotion of trade in the region while Deputy Secretary General SAARC Chamber Zulfiqar Ali Butt will be available to all of them round the clock.
On this occasion, he suggested various ways to further promoting cooperation between Chinese commercial industry and its counterpart in South Asia, including the enhancement of trade and economic information sharing, organization or more companies to invest in South Asia, increasing imports from South Asia and promotion of the creation of a good business environment. Vice Chairman Youth Entrepreneurship SAARC Chamber Shaheryar Ali Malik, Tariq Hameed Chadda, Lala Pervez Life Members SAARC Chamber and Dr Waqar Ch. senior faculty member Punjab University were also present on this occasion.