ISLAMABAD: The economic integration and smooth trade in South Asia is need of the hour to alleviate abject poverty and usher an era of progress, development and prosperity in the region.
According to a message received here from New Delhi, the leader of Pak delegation Vice President SAARC Chamber of Commerce and Industry and veteran trade leader Iftikhar Ali Malik speaking on Friday at a concluding session of 2-day 5th SAARC Businessman Leaders Conclave at New Delhi, stressed the need for closer co-operation among the private and public sectors of all member countries of the SAARC for better economic and trade relations mainly aimed at welfare and greater weal of the people of the region.
He disclosed that nearly 55 per cent of total potential for intra-regional trade in South Asia have not so far been exploited because of certain reasons to be thrashed out on priority.
He said that despite huge indigenous and plenty of natural resources and mineral deposits,the state of intra region trade in South Asia is highly miserable. He said that two major players of South Asia possess great economic potential and enhanced trade relations could bring them closer together provided all cores issues confronting the either states were settled down amicably through peaceful and result oriented parleys.
Iftikhar Ali Malik said that both countries have similar socio economic needs and huge complementarities exit which badly needed to materialised through mutual co-operation for the overall welfare of the people and durable stability in the region.
He said that bilateral investment is the most effective tool to create mutual stake of the India and Pakistan which he added would help defuse tension and subsequently resolve all such issues impeding the economic growth of the entire region.
He said that South Asia badly needs to negotiate collectively at multilateral trading forums, using the regional forum of SAARC to advance its economic and social growth and enhance human development.
Iftikhar Ali Malik said that still 32 per cent of South Asian people live on less than US dollar 1.25 per person a day while this region has still high incidence of poverty, hunger and malnutrition. He said that only way to address this issue is to concentrate collectively for fully exploiting the all indigenous resources in the region.
A 60-member traders delegation of private sector from Pakistan is currently visiting India to participate in the conclave prominent among them included President FPCCI Zubair Ahmad Malik, President elect FPCCI Usman Zekeria. Chairman Nestle Pakistan, Syed Yawar Ali, President Youth Entrepreneurs Zulfiqar Ali Badar and others.