Strong inter-regional communications a must to boost investment: SAARC CCI President

M Saim Tipu    

24 December, 2017 16:44 PM

Strong inter-regional communications a must to boost investment: SAARC CCI President

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Suraj Vaidya, an entrepreneur, business leader and a passionate advocate for economic growth and reform in Nepal, has recently held the helm of SAARC Chamber of Commerce and Industry. 

The Daily Kalerkantho has got the opportunity to talk with the immediate past president of Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI) as he is visiting Bangladesh right now. 

During an interview with the Bangla national daily, the business leader has emphasised on the need of proper inter-regional communications in order to boost and encourage investments.

He said: “The SAARC Chamber of Commerce and Industry is going to turn 25 this year. I am proud of being a founding member of the esteemed organisation. I believe that SAARC is a platform of people belongs to the similar socio-cultural atmosphere and I am working for the betterment of the organisation since last two years.

“There is a huge potential for expansion of bilateral trade and investment among Bangladesh, Nepal, India, and Bhutan. Developed inter-regional communications among the countries will bring groundbreaking changes in export earnings, employment, and investment environment. But, we cannot cash in on these opportunities because of our conservative bilateral policies.”

“Bangladesh and Nepal hold the potential to be Asia's manufacturing hub because of huge under-utilised manpower and port facilities. I think SAARC will play an important role in boosting regional business cooperation if India extends its helping hands as a big neighbour,” added Suraj Vaidya.

He observed that the SAARC countries cannot make any remarkable progress without sound economic and diplomatic bilateral relationship.

He continued: “I have visited all South Asian countries and exchanged views with the business leaders and the common people as well. And in most of the cases, I have found that people want to work together in order to make the region more prosperous.

“We have lost the fame of SAARC that Bangladesh founded with a view to building a strong and mutual relationship and fraternity among the South Asian countries. But, now it’s the high time to regain the lost glory.”

Mentioning that most of the criminal and terrorist acts are being conducted because of poverty, he said: “We can eliminate the rate of crime and terrorist activities in the region by creating the scope of employment for the youths.”

Referring to the long-standing "enmity" between India and Pakistan, Suraj Vaidya further said: “Such relationship status is casting an adverse impact on our development. Despite keeping sound bilateral ties, poor inter-regional communications is hindering the progress of Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, and Nepal (BBIN).”

“Despite all these, South Asia can be considered as the largest democratic region in the world as 99.99% population of the area is progressive. And we cannot stay behind for only 0.1% population who believes in terrorism and criminal activities,” he added.

The business leader continued: “In order to overcome such situation, we are working with the people of the region as only strong communication among the people will eliminate the rate of misunderstanding. Sometimes poor communications can create big crises.”

He emphasised on the easy visa rules among the South Asian countries in order to increase the chances of investments. “The choice of people and their rights should be placed in the first place instead of establishing a one-country leadership in the region.”

He appreciated Bangladesh’s prospect in Readymade Garment and food processing sector.

Suraj Vaidya's short profile 

Suraj Vaidya is an entrepreneur, business leader and a passionate advocate for economic growth and reform in Nepal. A graduate of MBA from George Mason University,  Vaidya runs industries in Nepal based on agriculture, construction, education and the trading sector as the President of Vaidya’s Organization of Industries and Trading Houses (VOITH), which was established in 1967. 

In the agricultural sector, his major industries are built around tea, flora, poultry, feed, etc. In these agricultural sectors, his companies’ works have been recognized for their community development approach while creating economic value.

Besides being an active member of the business community and leading change by setting examples of growth, Vaidya has been a promoter of economic growth and an avid advocate for dealing with Nepal’s most critical development constraints. He is the Immediate Past President of Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI). 

He has remained the Vice President of the SAARC Chamber of Commerce and Industry; Advisor to the Prime Minister’s Economic Group and has served as the Chairman (Branding and Marketing) of Nepal Investment Year 2012/13.