Sta­ble fu­ture

Southasia - - BRIEFING -

The sixth South Asia Eco­nomic Sum­mit (SAES) was held in Colombo from Septem­ber 2-4. It was hosted by the coun­try’s lead­ing eco­nomic pol­icy think tank, the In­sti­tute of Pol­icy Stud­ies of Sri Lanka (IPS). Held an­nu­ally in a dif­fer­ent re­gional coun­try, the SAES brought to­gether lead­ing ex­perts from the academia, gov­ern­ment, the civil so­ci­ety and the pri­vate sec­tor. This year’s theme was ‘To­wards a Stronger, Dy­namic and In­clu­sive South Asia’. The sum­mit tack­led many crit­i­cal is­sues fac­ing the re­gional coun­tries, in­clud­ing the im­per­a­tives for closer co­op­er­a­tion and emerg­ing growth op­por­tu­ni­ties and chal­lenges for South Asia in the con­text of fast chang­ing global eco­nomic dy­nam­ics.

Is­sues such as what the South Asian states need to do to strengthen their eco­nomic growth prospects while manag­ing risks and chal­lenges were also dis­cussed. While SAARC pro­vides a plat­form to South Asian coun­tries for diplo­matic dis­cus­sions, the SAES has emerged as an im­por­tant source for vi­tal analy­ses and pol­icy in­sights in the re­gional in­te­gra­tion agenda.

Key speak­ers this year in­cluded Pak­istan’s Min­is­ter of Plan­ning and De­vel­op­ment, Ah­san Iqbal, Sri Lanka’s Min­is­ter of Con­sti­tu­tional Af­fairs, D.E.W. Gu­nasek­era, the Sec­re­tary Gen­eral of SAARC, Ahmed Saleem, the Ex­ec­u­tive Chair­man of South Asia Watch on Trade, Eco­nom­ics and En­vi­ron­ment, Posh Raj Pandey, the Pres­i­dent of the South Asian Univer­sity, G K Chadha, the Deputy Ex­ec­u­tive Di­rec­tor of SDPI, Vaqar Ahmed, Go­lam Moazzem of Dhaka’s Cen­tre for Pol­icy Di­a­logue and the Ad­vi­sor of Com­mon­wealth Busi­ness Coun­cil, Arif Za­man among oth­ers.

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