South Asia as engine of growth

Enterprise - - NATIONAL NEWS -

Con­nect­ing re­gional en­ergy re­sources is nowhere else as im­por­tant as in the South Asian re­gion, which is home to about one third of the world’s pop­u­la­tion.

Trade and en­ergy go hand in hand and sus­tain­able growth can only be­come a re­al­ity if we fo­cus on th­ese two ar­eas. De­vel­op­ing strong bonds be­tween coun­tries in the re­gion is very use­ful. A con­fer­ence held in New Delhi, per­tain­ing to re­gional trade and eco­nomic co­op­er­a­tion in South Asia, ex­am­ined trends and prospects.

In­dian Min­is­ter for Ex­ter­nal Af­fairs Sal­man Khur­sheed, Di­rec­tor Eco­nomic Af­fairs Di­vi­sion, Com­mon­wealth Sec­re­tariat Dr Cyrus Rus­tom­jee, Sec­re­tary Gen­eral SAARC Sec­re­tariat Ah­mad Saleem and Di­rec­tor Gen­eral, Re­search and In­for­ma­tion Sys­tems for De­vel­op­ing Coun­tries (RIS) Dr Biswajit Dhar, talked about the strengths and weak­nesses of the re­gion and urged the govern­ment to take req­ui­site steps in or­der to max­i­mize the as­sets.

The LCCI (La­hore Cham­ber of Com­merce and In­dus­try) Vice Pres­i­dent Mian Abuzar Shad said, “South Asia has the po­ten­tial to be­come the world’s engine of growth pro­vided it strength­ens trade re­la­tions and en­ergy link­ages.”

Shad said that at­ten­tion should be paid to the de­vel­op­ment of in­fra­struc­ture in this re­gion. De­vel­op­ing roads, rail­way tracks and pay­ing at­ten­tion to ed­u­ca­tion and health is our top pri­or­ity. The con­fer­ence was a use­ful ac­tiv­ity to­wards de­vel­op­ing strong bonds be­tween the re­gional coun­tries.

The LCCI Vice Pres­i­dent quoted the ex­am­ple of the unity of EU which has given great eco­nomic strength to the Euro­pean re­gion. He added that en­hanced trade among the SAARC coun­tries would re­sult in the vast eco­nomic growth of South Asia. Mian Abuzar Shad said that Afghanistan, Iran and Rus­sia are huge mar­kets and there is a need for the SAARC re­gion to work to­gether to cap­ture th­ese mar­kets.

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