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ISLAMABAD: Federation of Pakistan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI), hosted a dinner in honor of Secretary General SAARC Esala Ruwan Weerakoon, during his maiden visit to Pakistan since assuming the office in March 2020 on December 23, 2021 in Islamabad.

Weerakoon is visiting Pakistan in a very low tide of regional cooperation in SAARC. During his four days of visit he will call on the President, Prime Minister, the Foreign Minister and other official of Pakistan.

Mian Nasir Hayatt Magoo, President of the Federation of Pakistan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI), while extending welcome remarks said “South Asia has huge potential to reshape our region’s development landscape. Our region can emerge as a driving engine for the world economy if we exploit our economic complementarities. He added that the private sector of Pakistan feels that regional integration under the SAARC framework is only solution to uplift the living standards of the peoples of South Asia.

While speaking on the occasion the Secretary General of SAARC, Esala Ruwan Weerakoon appreciated the commendable efforts of the SAARC bodies based in Pakistan. He assured to put forth strenuous efforts to strengthen cooperation among member states, in order to realize the full potential of SAARC.

His Excellency in his address also stressed upon calling SAARC Council of Ministers meet as soon as possible to address the procedural issue due to which SAARC Apex and allied bodies are greatly suffering and also to take necessary steps to accelerate the economic and commercial growth of SAARC states. He also assured that he will discuss the matter with the current Chair Nepal to address the issue as soon as possible.

Advisor to Prime Minister for Climate Change, Malik Amin Aslam while addressing the gathering underscored that Pakistan is committed to work for achieving economic, social and cultural development by combating common challenges of poverty, unemployment, terrorism, transnational crimes and climate change.

While discussing on the regional issues with the Secretary General SAARC, the senior leadership of SCCI, President Iftikhar Ali Malik and Executive Member (Pakistan), Zubair A. Malik, stressed resolving the matter of recognition of apex and allied bodies and emphasized that apex and allied bodies are the wings and feathers of SAARC.

The diplomatic missions of SAARC countries, business community representatives, from Islamabad also graced the event with their eminent presence.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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