ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: The SAARC Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCI) and Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on joint research activities as well as outreach and capacity building programmes.
Under the MoU, SAARC CCI and SDPI would be collaborating and cooperating with each other in research, joint research proposals, activities, and publications to share data and other research resources. Capacity building including training courses is also the part of the MoU.
Seminars, workshops, and conferences would be jointly held as part of the outreach activities.
Sustainable quality assurance monitoring and evaluation framework would be designed. Outreach and networking programme, projects and activities as may be jointly agreed by both the parties, would also be initiated under the MoU.
SDPI Executive Director Dr. Abid Q. Suleri, while appreciating the visit of Suraj Vadiya, President of SAARC Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said that his visit to Islamabad and SDPI was very timely, as the 19th SAARC summit was likely to held in Islamabad this year.
Dr Suleri said the trade taking place in SAARC was due to personal initiatives and risks, as environment in SAARC countries was slightly non-conducive for trade.
“Regional countries should learn from Nepal and Sri Lanka. Their visa regime is much better than rest of the regional countries. They are smaller economies and are less populous. Nepal, and Sri Lanka have open visa policy, we need to learn from them.”
“If I look at the social sector side, the SAARC countries are committed to the SDGs as much as any other responsible nation of the world,” he added.
The most daunting goal for South Asia, which has maximum number of poor people, is to alleviate poverty in all forms.
The private sector has tremendous role to play in this regard, he emphasized.
Suraj Vaidya, President of SAARC Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said, “We need to increase our partnership, and cooperation. SDPI is an institute of repute and tremendous knowledge in the area. Therefore, this partnership would take us much further.”
He said there was need to build partnership with universities as well. In this regard, SAARC CCI would make partnership with LUMS.