Pakistan should benefit from booming Asia: Mushahid


Political consideration has remained one of the biggest hurdles in development of South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) region houses 22 per cent of the world population. Secretary General, PML-Q and Chairman Pak-China Institute Mushahid Hussain Syed said growth of the region has been projected to surpass 50 per cent of the world’s GDP by 2030 that calls for immediate steps by Pakistan to boost intra-regional trade lest we miss the boat. Speaking at a seminar organised by SAARC Chamber of Commerce to celebrate 26th SAARC Charter Day, he said SAARC is the biggest trading block in the world with lowest level of trade. Contribution of South Asia in the global GDP is less than two per cent and its share in exports in only 1.5 per cent, which does not reflect our true potential, he said.
Pace of growth in SAARC region has been slower at five per cent as compared with other blocs like NAFTA, EU, ASEAN and COMESA, wherein intra-regional trade is estimated at 62 per cent, 58 per cent, 28 per cent and 22 per cent respectively, Mushahid Hussain informed. He said that for greater Asia we should enhance cooperation with China, Iran, Afghanistan and Myanmar. Tariq Sayeed, VP, CACCI and former President SAARC CCI and FPCCI while calling upon framing new trade rules as existing set of rules are not encouraging businesses said that cost of cross border trading in SAARC remained highest in the world while visa difficulties have become a Non-Tariff Barrier.
Free movement of businessmen can transform region into a block like EU where the people of eight nations will remain in peace like as a family, said Tariq Sayeed adding that we have a shared history, shared culture and we deserve to have a shared future. Tariq said that opening up of trade will not hurt Pakistan. We should encourage business interests of India. Indian goods can be re-exported from Pakistan which will benefit all stakeholders, he said. Our region has lost momentum but it has ability to bounce back as we have 45 per cent of young population, 12 per cent of known global natural resources, and all prerequisites to become developed nations, national business leader said. Participants were of the view that purpose of SAARC is to ensure welfare of almost two billion people. Recent series of dialogue between Pakistan and India is very encouraging for the whole region. Trade expansion is the simplest way to ensure regional economic corporation which require collective and collaborative strategies and joint-ventures, the speakers stressed.


  1. IT is good for us as a pakistani we have to more focus on regional trade as compare to out side of the regional trade ………………….if we focus on the regional trade at first the transportation cost will be deducted which is competitive edge to sale at low price ……and secondly the Asian country is more economically better then EU countries
    fawwad ahmed ( [email protected])

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