The Sixth South Asia Economic Summit opened in Colombo, Sri Lanka, today. The Summit concludes on 4 September 2013.
The Summit brings together eminent personalities from academia, government, civil society, private sector and media from the Member States of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC). It also has participation from experts and resource persons drawn from other organizations and countries.
Hosted by the Institute of Policy Studies, an apex think tank of Sri Lanka, the theme of the three-day Summit is “Towards a stronger, dynamic & inclusive South Asia.”
Addressing the Summit, H. E. Mr. Ahmed Saleem, Secretary-General of SAARC stated, “South Asia Economic Summits have been an important platform for the South Asian researchers, academicians, businesspersons, government representatives, among others, to exchange views on issues having a direct bearing on economic integration of our region. I am happy to mention that the previous five summits have been instrumental in generating views and ideas for consideration of the policy makers in our region.”
“I am glad to note that this Summit, which is the sixth in the series, will be devoted to thematic issues as harnessing human capital, managing water resources, food security and climate change, addressing intra-country growth disparities and building competitiveness of the private sector. As all these issues are very pertinent the SAARC process, I remain confident that this Summit will provide a great food for thought for our decision-makers in the region,” the Secretary-General said in his Address at the opening of the Summit.
Hon. Dew Gunasekera, Senior Minister for Human Resources of Sri Lanka inaugurated the Summit. Hon. Ahsan Iqbal Chowdhury, Federal Minister for Planning of Pakistan delivered a special address at the Summit’s Inaugural Session. Dr. Saman Kalegama, Executive Director, Institute of Policy Studies of Sri Lanka delivered a welcome statement.
Launched in 2008, the South Asia Economic Summit is the premier regional platform for dialogue and debate on socio-economic issues facing South Asia. Each year, the Summit tackles the critical issues, develops new insights, and generates ideas on policy priorities for consideration of the region’s decision-makers.
The Fifth South Asia Economic Summit was held in Islamabad, Pakistan in September 2012, while the Fourth South Asia Economic Summit was held in Dhaka, Bangladesh, in October 2011.