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Last updated: 27 Jul, 2012  

SAARC.Thmb.jpg India needs to play a major role in SAARC

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Bikky Khosla | 05 Aug, 2008
The recently concluded SAARC Summit in Colombo had a greater importance than being just an annual academic affair.

With the failure of WTO talks, regional trade assumes greater importance for a country like India which is one of South Asia's biggest economies. The SAARC member states have rightly pledged to allow trade in more goods under South Asia Free Trade Agreement (SAFTA). This will enhance trade among the member countries, and ensure trade and investment flows, integration of infrastructure,and greater people to people contacts which is very important in today's exim context.

India being an important member of the group should initiate steps to ensure that the nations go beyond the rhetoric and make the Summit meaningful in the future. Creation of Export Promotion Zones and Special Economic Zones in each SAARC member country as pointed out by industry bodies will enhance investments between them and will thus encourage intra-SAARC investments.

However I get a feeling that not much progress will be seen unless a concrete regional policy is in place. Sadly, till now no discussion along these lines has figured in talks.

The Indian government has to understand that the export-import community needs easier movement of goods, services, and people within the member nations if we are to compete with other big economies like China.

One positive outcome of the summit was that the nations have agreed to include services in their free-trade pact and also to slash the number of items on the sensitive list of commodities that are banned from trading.

It is a really sorry state of affairs that despite huge scope for intra-SAARC trade, till date trade is even less than 5 percent of the countries' total trade volume. And when we compare it with intra-European Union commerce that comprise about 55 percent, I think we have a long way to go. And India has to show them the way.

Being the dominant member of the bloc, India can't just remain a member of SAARC; rather it should look for avenues to ensure that it creates greater opportunities for its export-import community to carry out trade.
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Rahul | Tue Nov 12 11:29:48 2013
you need to mention about 2000 export and import commodities between India and SAARC.

Lay off Pakistan and flourish
Kailash Chander Sharma | Fri Aug 8 09:40:32 2008
We have some doubt that Pakistan being an agent of China does not allow other SAARC members to go ahead and make it successful. So WE SHOULD LAY OFF PAKISTAN and flourish. China fears trade threats from this group and WILL ALWAYS CREATE HURDLES.

  Re: Lay off Pakistan and flourish
B Neopanae | Sun Aug 10 03:13:42 2008
Come on big brother Ridding Pakistan will not rid the problems. Accept challenges and break thru. Use your creative mind not the conventional we used own the land should rule it.

Regulatory Laws for India's Placement Agencies
Adrian Akau | Thu Aug 7 21:07:21 2008
"India being an important member of the group should initiate steps to ensure that the nations go beyond the rhetoric and make the Summit meaningful in the future." I feel that India in return must make an honest committment when it comes to its international job placement agencies. I work as a recruiter for sustainable energy companies and companies developing new energy sources and have found the recruitment situation in India deplorable. Skilled engineers are a valuable resource that India should provide without entrapping placement conditions. There seems to be no governmental regulation of these agencies which charge an arm and a leg for their services but also to bleed recipients of their services white by their exhorbitant yearly "fees". It is not a fair situation as the workers should be entitled to keep their pay. They already have paid the agency a fee and even persons who wish to make use of Indian agencies are required to pay user fees of more than USD 500 for merely 30 days access to CV's (resumes). I have also found agencies in other countries such as (Boston, USA) to be woefully inadequate in the services they provide. Information during CV searches show that data from a person in one country is presented during searches of other countries. It is a mess. Regulatory laws should be passed on India's placement agencies to insure fairness to exported workers.

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