Inter-Regional Trade Must Increase For A Successful SAARC
Speaking at the recent seminar on “SAARC Governments Commitment to Economic Freedom in South Asia” held in Islamabad, Pakistan The president of SAARC CCI Mr.Tariq Sayeed said “ Economic Freedom is incomplete without political freedom and a politically sound state is pre-requisite for economic liberalization in the country”. He said that SAARC countries to pursue economic freedom to be able to achieve economic integration among SAARC countries. He further stressed the importance of youth in achieving the social and economic liberalization in the region.
AT the seminar the positive relationship of social liberation with higher Gross Domestic Product resulting in lower corruption in the public and private sectors while opening up markets for the region was highlighted. India seems to be at the forefront of the economic liberalization in the SAARC region with many Free Trade Agreements being signed bilaterally with fellow SAARC countries. Mr.Sayeed also said that the 1.7 percent in world trade from the region had a lot more potential to grow, specially since SAARC is home to more than one fifth of the world population. The current levels of inter-regional trade stood at mere 6 percent while intra-regional trade in, EU 58 percent, NAFTA was 62 percent and ASEAN 26 percent.
H.E. Sharat Sambharwal, the High Commissioner of India to Pakistan was the guest of honor, he said that it was India’s and specially Dr.Manmohan Singh’s vison to see South East Asia being transformed to a knowledge-biased economy. This could be achived only by rapidly increasing the pace and scope of the current inter-economic activity within SAARC.