South Asian economists, senior government officials, policy makers, academicians, business people, and civil society representatives will brainstorm in the South Asian Economic Summit — also termed as the South Asian Davos — next week and frame observations and recommendations for the 18th SAARC Summit to be held in Nepal next year.
The regional economic summit to be held on September 11-13 in Pakistan with a slogan 'Making Growth Inclusive and Sustainable in South Asia', will discuss about the chronic economic challenges faced by South Asia and find regional solutions to meet sustainable development goals in the region.
South Asia is the least economically integrated region in the world, which necessitates greater regional economic cooperation for pro-poor growth and sustainable development in the region.
The region, which has the largest market, is the least integrated in terms of trade as intra-regional trade has been recorded under five per cent. Dr Posh Raj Pandey, executive chairman of SAWTEE , one of the co-organisers of the summit, Indian minister for Rural Development Jairam Ramesh, Sri Lankan senior minister for International Monetary Cooperation Sarath Amunugama, minister and senior adviser for Economic Affairs to President of Afghanistan Sham L Bathija, adviser International Affairs to Prime Minister of Bangladesh Gowher Rizvi, former Indian foreign secretary and SACEPS co-chairman Muchkund Dubey, SAARC Chamber of Commerce and Industry, India president Vikramjit Singh Sahney, Sri Lankan Institute of Policy Studies executive director Saman Kelegama, Bangladeshi former finance minister Syeduzzaman, International Food Policy Research Institute senior research fellow Shahidur Rashid, Afghanistan Civil Society’s Coordination Centre Mirwais Rahimzai and World Bank South Asia chief economist Kalpana Kochhar will be some of the key participants among the 200 delegates from South Asia.
Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari is scheduled to inaugurate the event, whereas Pakistani foreign minister Hina Rabbani Khar will address the closing ceremony as chief guest.
In the backdrop of negative effects of global and the eurozone financial crisis, non-traditional security threats, lack of basic infrastructure and social services in the region, lack of communication connectivity and engaging youth and diaspora have also become barriers to larger regional integration.
Started in 2008, the South Asia Economic Summit engages leading policymakers from South Asia to discuss a regional approach to issues of mutual concern, and also to learn from home grown solutions to common predicaments that can be replicated elsewhere in South Asia.
Earlier, Sri Lanka, India, Nepal and Bangladesh have hosted the summit over the past four years, respectively.
Int'l Economic Summit in February
KATHMANDU: Nepal is planning to hold an international economic summit on February 15, 2013, according to the chair of the International Economic Summit directorate and Finance Minister Barsha Man Pun. The summit expected to be participated by many global renowned economists will send a positive message to the international investors, Pun said, adding that the directorate will soon nominate five economists from different political parties apart from three independent economists.