HEALTH - Knowledge and Virtue | Muhammad Ali Khan
HEALTH - Knowledge and Virtue | Muhammad Ali Khan
SAARC (South Asian Association of Regional Cooperation)
Past, Present and Future Prospects
Kanwal Batool Naqvi
1977-85: Bangladesh Contribution
Charter-December 08, 1985
Economic Union Dream?
Cooperation in SAARC
Non-interference in internal affairs
af other states and mutual
1. Welfare to people (quality of life)
2. Economic growth
4. Collective self reliance
5. Mutual trust, under-standing and appreciation
1. Inter-cooperation in national forums
2. Domestic countries strengthening
3. International and regional organizations
4: SAARC-Current Members
1. Afghanistan (Number 13, 2005)
8. Sri Lanka
Share of Population in the World: 23.19%
Based on: World Development Report 2012.
Date of Summit
7-8, December, 1985
16-17 November, 1986
2-4 November, 1987
29-31 December, 1988
21-23 November, 1990
21st December, 1991
10-11 April, 1993
2-4 May, 1995
12-14 May, 1997
29-31 July, 1998
Date of Summit
4-6 January, 2002
2-6 January, 2004
12-13 November, 2005
3-4 April, 2007
1-3 August 2008
28-29 April, 2010
November 10-11, 2011
1. Business information data networking
3. S & T
4. Social dimension in business
Travel & Tourism Maldives-tourism
Bhutan & Nepal
- SAARC University
1. People to people contact
- Agricultural infrastructure: Bangladesh
- Regional Projects
- Japan Special Funds
- South Asia Development Fund
- Other Funds
4. SAARC Chamber of Commerce & Industry:
10: UNIQUE FEATURES
The oldest ancient living civilizations
World’s sleeping giant-started moving
People of all regilons, faiths, ideologies live
Economic force-common market
The largest irrigated area
The second largest railway network
The largest English speaking area
The largest labour force: 425m people
Home of the poorest:
- Job openings
- Self employment
10. 750m commerce-the largest single block
7. Enabling environment
8. Defense expenditure
ECONOMIC CHALLENGES AND
ECONOMIC CHALLENGES FOR PAKISTAN
The Pakistan’s economy is currently passing through the
most difficult phase of its economic history.
Once a robust economy, with economic growth over 6%
of GDP, now it has been transformed into a fragile
economy, due to serious economic challenges, the most
important being our country’s frontline role in ‘War on
Terror’ and the persistent ‘Power and Energy Crisis’
which has crippled our industrial sector.
Before I proceed further, let’s see what the
IMF Mission, which recently visited Pakistan
in October 2012, says in its Report :
Pakistan’s economic situation is
deteriorating and Islamabad urgently needs
to address deep problems in its energy
sector while boosting growth to meet a
rapidly growing population”.
The IMF Mission further goes on to say that:
country’s GDP in 2012-13 is likely to
grow at the annual rate of 3% to 3.5%, not
enough to provide jobs to the growing labor
force. Decisive and far-sighted action is
needed to address this challenging outlook”.
The IMF Mission Report points out that ENERGY PROBLEM
is the largest single impediment to higher economic
growth for Pakistan and a major factor behind
macroeconomic imbalances. For this, it has outlined a
comprehensive approach to reform to tackle these
The Challenges that our Country faces today do
not commensurate with the abundant and vast
potential that it possesses.
Pakistan offers huge potential and
opportunities for trade and investment to both
foreign investors and the local economy.
Pakistan is ranked number one in the World
Bank’s ‘Ease of Doing Business Index.’ in Asia
Pakistan is world’s 2nd largest producer of water,
buffalo meat and milk
Pakistan is world’s 3rd largest producer of cotton
Pakistan is the 4th largest goat meat supplier
Pakistan has 5th largest Coal and Gold reserves
Pakistan is the 7th largest wheat grower
Prospects and Economic Revival Efforts
The economic growth of Pakistan stood at 3.7% in FY
2012 which is higher than 3% realized in previous
year, but less than the target of 4.2 percent. The
State Bank of Pakistan in its third quarterly Report
‘State of the Economy” says that this performance is
notable, given the following challenges:
Considerable damage to cotton crop due to
Ongoing energy shortages;
Rise in international oil prices; and
The State Bank comments on the economy recovery
prospects as follows:
“Although Pakistan’s economy has shown some
recovery in terms of GDP growth, the key macro
indicators still remain weak. Persistent inflation
and pressure on the fiscal and current accounts,
remain the key challenges for the economy”
Like IMF, the State Bank of Pakistan also pinpoints
that “Low investment and energy shortages have
direct growth implications. Other areas that poses
challenge and major risk to the macro-economy is
Pakistan must overcome its economic challenges as
it has vital role to play to bring economic prosperity
in SAARC Region
SAARC region has potential of becoming a vibrant region in the
world given its enormous resources in manpower, technology,
agricultural and mineral assets, its history and civilization.
Pakistan must take immediate measures to meet its present
economic challenges as it has a more vibrant role to play for
the regional cooperation in the SAARC region.
Pakistan could play an important role in bringing the people of
SAARC together by promoting investment, trade and people to
The Existing Potential in the
South Asian Region
South Asia is the second fastest growing region in the
world and it has the potential to be an economic power
by the year 2025. Many in South Asia, however, still face
extreme poverty, especially the SAARC countries.
South Asia is home to half of the world’s poor, with 40%
of its population living on less than $1.25 a day.
South Asia accounts for only 2.5% of GDP 2% of world
exports, and 1.6% of world Foreign Direct Investment .
SAARC countries have common economic
goals and economic challenges
Significant challenges and barriers still exist which
continue to restrict the economic growth and
integration in the SAARC region.
What is required is a firm commitment by the
SAARC countries to move towards prosperity by
development through REGIONAL PARTNERSHIPS as
they share common economic goals and challenges.
Private Sector in SAARC countries
have to play a Pro-active Role
The private sectors of SAARC countries are already
involved in promoting economic cooperation in the
region but they must be pro-active to put a firm
pressure on their respective governments to provide
a business enabling environment to foster the pace
of economic development and cooperation within
the region. The Private sector must play a dynamic
role to bring about revolutionary changes and foster
the pace of regional integration in SAARC region.
Key Challenges for SAARC Region
While SAARC countries continue to make efforts for
integration, their progress is curtailed by a
continuing sub-set of systemic issues and
challenges common to all member nations.
I would like to outline few of the key
challenges and issues that are creating
barriers in the way of increasing flow of trade
and investment among the SAARC Countries
• Political Mindsets and Issues
• Abject Poverty
• Low Intra-regional trade
• Low- Intra-regional or cross-border Investment
• Poor Transport Network or Infrastructure to facilitate trade
• Sizable Sensitive List, Para Tariff and Non-Tariff Barriers
• Food Security issues
• Climatic Change Issues (floods and natural disasters)
• Under-utilization of renewable energy resources
• Stringent visa requirements
The above challenges need to be
dealt on preferential basis by the
SAARC countries, especially the two
big nations – PAKISTAN and INDIA.
More Intra–SAARC Trade can lead to Better
economic conditions for People
Intra-regional trade is one of the important measures to
alleviate and improve the economic condition of the
people of this region. However, as also indicated in the
list of barriers – the Intra regional trade among the
SAARC member states is marred by the issues of nontariff barriers and sensitive list. The SAARC states must,
therefore, address this issue immediately and
effectively for rapid expansion of intra regional trade.
More Intra-SAARC Investment can lead to
less dependence on Western Investors
The investment regime in SAARC is not only restrictive
but lacks policy harmonization. Supporting mechanisms
are needed to support capital flow and help attract more
Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) within SAARC countries
and depend less on investment from outside the region.
The FDI sources are highly diversified in SAARC countries,
mostly still originating in developed countries, outside
the region. India, Bangladesh and Pakistan attract most
of their FDI inflows from countries outside the region.
There is strong case for deeper
Expanding intra‐regional investment is the key to
bolstering the investment regime in SAARC region.
I would suggest that Boards of Investments in
the SAARC countries should promote more
intra‐regional investment by establishing their
offices in each other’s country.
I would like to highlight two other issues,
which are not directly concerned with
economy, trade or investment, but these
issues or challenges have direct bearing on
all of them. These challenges are Food
Security Issues and Natural Disaster
Food Security Issues
Considering that the estimated population of South Asia
will rise by 25% to 2000 million in 2025, food security is
the most tangible threat to all SAARC countries.
This threat cannot be mitigated by a variable increase in
food production alone, but by efforts to drastically
improve access to food sources and clean drinking water.
SAARC countries are at greatest risk of natural disasters
like earthquakes, floods and cyclones, which are already
having major impacts on their economic performance.
These have resulted in lower agricultural productivity in
the entire region. If this continues, it can turn out in shape
of severe economic shocks for the SAARC Countries.
To address the above two issues, the SAARC countries
must take action on immediate basis.
Key Opportunities for
There is always a blessing in disguise.
Though the SAARC region is facing a host of
challenges but there are Opportunities as
well. We need to identify and explore them.
Few areas are highlighted here, which have
so far not been explored.
(1) Cooperation in Services
(2) Sharing Renewable Energy
SAARC Region has enormous potential in Energy, especially
HYDRO-POWER, but only 10% of this potential is currently
being utilized. Renewable energy options such as SOLAR and
WIND-POWER need to be seriously considered as these are
vital for the economic growth and sustainability of SAARC.
India has around 25000MW of wind power, which can be
exported to other SAARC countries.
The Renewable Energy sources in SAARC countries need to
be tapped through infrastructure development, integrated
investment promotion policy and government pledges.
(3) Greater involvement of
Private Sectors of SAARC
The SAARC Governments must consider an increased role for
their private sectors in establishing public-private partnerships,
where possible, in SAARC countries.
The Private sector needs to be more involved in guiding
Government policies through lobbying and advocacy efforts.
The private sector is effective in bringing in a commercial
orientation and operating in a non-political way. They also
have strong implementation capacities to strengthen economic
and business opportunities along with trade in the region.
(4) Promising Youth leadership
The young business leaders of SAARC region should
be brought together to prepare them as the next
generation of business leaders for South Asia and to
identify their role in the formation of an integrated
future business community. There is strong need for
youth empowerment and focus on business
leadership for South Asian economic development.
(5) Investment in Health and Education
SAARC countries have received bulk of FDI in sectors like
Telecommunication, Transportation, Exploration of mineral
and natural resources, while other core sectors like health
and education are given least importance.
Investment in health and education sectors in form of FDI or
Joint Ventures between public and private enterprises is
squarely productive, which will not only enhance Human
Development Index of the region but also help achieve
sustainable economic growth.
SAARC was established in 1985 and the primary
objective identified in its Charter says:
“To promote the welfare of the peoples of South Asia
and to improve their quality of life"
The question is has SAARC achieved this objective?
I think that the two bigger countries – Pakistan and
India – should have to play their due role to move
SAARC towards the objective as given in its Charter.
I also think that the Role of private sector is quite
important as economy drives politics, and business
shapes the social values.
Businesses have the power to make a difference.
As far as Pakistan is concerned, I think that there is need
to create synergy between government and business
community to help resolve the present economic crisis
and put the country on path of progress and prosperity.
The Institute of Cost and Management
Accountants is always there to help the
Government in its efforts to bring
economic prosperity by extending
its professional expertise.
South Asian Regional Standards
Scientist ‘E’(International Relations)
Bureau of Indian Standards
This is not a presentation by SARSO but it is
presentation of factual information on SARSO by
• South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) was
formally launched in 1985
• Its seven founding members are Bangladesh, Bhutan, India,
Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka. Afghanistan joined
SAARC in 2007
• The main objectives of SAARC are to place regional cooperation
on a firm foundation, accelerate the pace of social and economic
development of the countries, and further the cause of peace,
progress and stability in the region.
TRADE AND REGULATORY COOPERATION
• With the increase in non-tariff barriers in trade, countries/
regions need to look at ways to combat them and thus
Regulatory Cooperation assumes importance.
• Harmonization of technical standards and mutual
recognition of conformity assessment procedures between
trading partners are forms of Regulatory Cooperation that
helps in removing the technical barriers to trade and
facilitates flow of goods and services in the region.
ESTABLISHMENT OF SARSO- BACKGROUND
• SAARC Committee on Economic Cooperation (CEC) established in 1991, for identifying and implementing
programmes in the core area of economic and trade
• The Sub-Group on Standards and Quality working under the
auspices of the CEC in its 2nd meeting on 30-31 August 2006,
decided to set up the SAARC Standards Coordination Board
(SSCB), as a precursor to the setting up of the SAARC Regional
• SSCB comprised of a member from each of the National
Standards Body of the Member States
ESTABLISHMENT OF SARSO- BACKGROUND
• SSCB at its 3rd meeting held on 1-2 Nov 2007, recommended
for setting up of the SAARC Regional Standards Body, to be
formally named as the South Asian Regional Standards
• SSCB approved the text of the draft agreement for
establishment of SARSO
The Agreement on the Establishment of the South Asia Regional
Standards Organization (SARSO), was signed at 15th SAARC Summit held
in Colombo, Sri Lanka on 2nd - 3rd August, 2008, by the Foreign
Ministers of the SAARC Member States
The Agreement on establishment of SARSO has since been ratified by all
Member States with Afghanistan ratifying the Agreement in May 2011.
The Agreement on establishment of SARSO has entered into force with
effect from 25 August 2011 with issuance of Notification to this effect by
the SAARC Secretariat.
SARSO is to be located in Dhaka, Bangladesh
The first meeting of the Governing Board of SARSO is likely to be held in
December 2011 in Bangladesh
OBJECTIVES OF SARSO
• To promote and undertake harmonization of national
standards of the SAARC Member States with a view to
removing TBT and facilitate flow of goods and services in
• To develop SAARC standards on the products of
• To encourage the use of international standards published
by ISO, IEC, etc. by way of adoption, where appropriate, as
OBJECTIVES OF SARSO (Contd..)
• To encourage exchange of information and expertise among
the NSBs of the Member States in the fields of
Standardization and Conformity Assessment
• To facilitate capacity building among the Member States in
the fields of Standardization and Conformity Assessment by
way of training, workshops, seminars, etc
• To act as a source of information for the Member States on
standards, regulations, conformity assessment
• To present the common interests of the Member States in
the various international standardization organisations
OBJECTIVES OF SARSO (Contd..)
• To establish mutually beneficial cooperation with the relevant
international and regional organizations as per relevant SAARC
• To promote MRAs on Conformity Assessment Procedures among
the Member States
• To encourage sharing of facilities relating to conformity
assessment procedures among the Member States
• To explore the possibility of having a common mark of conformity
among the Member States
• To undertake any other task(s) as deemed appropriate.
STRUCTURE OF SARSO
The Organisation shall comprise of:
• Governing Board
• Technical Management Board (TMB)
• Director-General; and
Composition of Governing Board
• highest authority of SARSO vested with all powers relating to its
• consists of the Heads of respective NSB of each Member State.
Each Member and his/her Alternate shall serve at the pleasure
of the appointing Member State.
• The Chairperson of TMB, the Secretary General of SAARC or his
representative and the Head of the Secretariat to be the exofficio Members of the Governing Board.
Functions of Governing Board (GB)
• GB may create and assign other entities, as and when
required, for the smooth operation of the activities of SARSO
• In line with the objectives and functions of SARSO, GB shall
formulate policies for the effective functioning of SARSO
• GB may also give directives and provide guidance to the
other organs of SARSO including TMB and Sectoral Technical
Technical Management Board (TMB)
• consists of one technical expert nominated by each NSB of
the Member States.
• responsible for the planning, coordination and monitoring of
all the technical work of SARSO.
• may establish Sectoral Technical Committees (STC) as and
when deemed necessary for development of harmonised
• scope and programme of work for each STC under TMB shall
be approved by GB
• shall meet at least annually preferably immediately before
GB meetings and submit its reports to GB
Director-General and the Secretariat
SARSO shall be headed by a Director-General who will be
appointed by the Governing Board for a period of three
years from among the nationals of the Member States
• The Organisation shall have a Secretariat consisting of
officers and staff
ON GOING WORK
Development of SAARC Standards
harmonization/development of SAARC Standards:
Textile Fabric Jute
Skimmed Milk Powder
Sector based approach adopted for harmonization/ development
of SAARC standards with setting up of Sectoral Technical
Food and Agricultural Products
Electrical, Electronics, Telecoms and IT
Jute, Textiles & Leather
Chemical and Chemical Products
ON GOING WORK
Draft SAARC Agreement on Implementation of Regional
The objective of this agreement is to provide the framework
as well as the guiding principles for implementation of the
ON GOING WORK
Draft SAARC Agreement on Multilateral Arrangement on
Recognition of Conformity Assessment
The objective of this Agreement is to facilitate SAARC Member
States to accept results of conformity assessment
EXPECTED BENEFITS – INDIAN PERSPECTIVE
Harmonization of national standards of the Member States
would help in removing the technical barriers to trade and
facilitate flow of goods and services in the region
Facilitate in projecting common interests of the Member
States in the various international standardization
Facilitate acceptance of results of conformity assessment
amongst the countries in the region, and
Facilitate capacity building among Member States