Challenges related to young entrepreneurs, tourism and connectivity in the region among others, will be addressed in the 70th executive committee meeting of South Asian Association for Regional Corporation (SAARC) Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SAARC CCI).

Foreign minister Damcho Dorji said that the expansion of trade and deeper integration in the region has been constrained by poor infrastructure, tariff and non-tariff barriers, administrative bottlenecks and lack of adequate investment. He said that 35 percent of the population of South Asia consist of youth but lack opportunities and finance, which restrict their potential.

For the next two days, the meeting will discuss plans and programmes of SAARC Chamber Young Entrepreneurs Forum (SCYEF). The members of SAARC CCI will also discuss tourism, connectivity in the region and SAARC development fund.

Secretary General with SAARC, Amjad Husain B. Sial, said that SAARC CCI should create awareness on the benefit of trade under South Asian Free Trade Area (SAFTA). “Several intergovernmental initiatives are already underway for the promotion of trade, harmonisation of standards, promotion of investments and for the improvement of connectivity in the region,” he said.

The three-day session began with the executive committee member of SAARC CCI Singye Namgyal Dorji, being appointed as the new chairman of SCYEF for a term of two years. Saurabh Jyoti from Nepal was the former chairperson of SCYEF.

The meeting organised by SAARC CCI in collaboration with Bhutan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) was inaugurated yesterday in Thimphu.

SAARC CCI was established in 1992 with an objective to promote active collaboration, mutual assistance in the economic, social, cultural, and technical and scientific fields.

Phurpa Lhamo