Dr. Waqar Ch
Lahore—A leading Nepali Industrialist Suraj Vaidya, President, Vaidya Organization of Industries and Trading Houses (Nepal), and Former President, FNCCI, took over SAARC CCI Presidency for the term 2016-17. Vaidya took over SAARC CCI Presidency in ceremony graced by Prime Minister of Nepal Mr. KP Sharma Oli and the Deputy Prime Minister of Nepal and Minister for Foreign Affairs, Kamal Thapa.
An old hand at the SAARC CCCI, Suraj Vaidya has formerly been the Chairman of the SAARC Tourism Council, during which time he worked assiduously to promote South Asia as an attractive tourist destination. Prior to this highly prestigious appointment, Suraj Vaidya has steered SAARC CCI as Acting President in 2015. At this occasion, Prime Minister of Nepal Mr. KP Sharma Oli, while extending congratulations to Vaidya and kind wishes for his successful tenure as the President of the SAARC CCI, stressed upon all the SAARC member states to come together to unleash immense potentials of development in the region.
He added that a conducive environment has been created in Nepal for alluring the investment after the promulgation of the new constitution. “The government is ready to make amendments to the existing laws if found inconsistent in bringing foreign investment to the country” Sharma added. Suraj Vaidya, who has already been the President of Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI) has experience, leadership qualities and the understanding of the Challenges that lie ahead. “Mr Suraj Vaidya is a seasoned leader, a seasoned businessman and has vast experience” said K.P. Sharma Oli, the Prime Minister of Nepal.
Foreign Minister Kamal Thapa while addressing the gathering said, despite of the intense proximity the South Asian region is the least connected region in the world and there is need to work for eliminating tariff and non-tariff barriers. South Asian countries do less than 5 percent trade among them as lack of physical connectivity and political will and long sensitive lists have remained stumbling block for enhanced trade and investment. Even 10 years after the signing of the South Asia Free Trade Agreement (SAFTA), trade in the region has not grown as expected. He said he will raise the issue in the upcoming foreign minister-level meeting. Addressing the occasion Vaidya said “Being President of SAARC CCI my focus is to priorities better connectivity and establishment of SAARC industrial parks for better investment facilitation”.