Call for economic ties within SAARC countries

NEW DELHI Oct. 5. The president of the SAARC Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Padma Jyoti, today called upon the member countries to pool their resources and work in unison to reap full benefits of the opportunities as their rich reserves of intellect would go a long way in bringing about economic prosperity in the changing global economic scenario.

Speaking at the inaugural session of the Task Force Investment Cooperation in South Asia, he pointed out that in the changed scenario with globalisation having gained momentum, economic cooperation within the countries of the region would be mutually fruitful.

Observing that economic cooperation is the seed from which the SAARC could truly blossom, he dealt with the issue of attracting foreign direct investment (FDI) in the region by reminding that an environment, which is friendly and conducive to domestic investments, also attracts FDI. Voicing concern over the low flow of foreign capital into the region, he pointed out that the foreign capital received by the region in 2001 was just 0.6 per cent of the global foreign investments.

According to him, the factors that impeded the growth of FDI in the region included lack of political stability and predictability of policy frame work, apart from law and order situation, higher transaction costs, entry and exit barriers. Bad governance, rigid labour laws, low quality infrastructure as identified by SACEPS' report were some other elements adversely impacting the FDI inflow.

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