LAHORE: The SAARC Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SAARC CCI) under its vision 2020 organised the 1st SAARC CCI Young Entrepreneur Forum program as a strategic initiative to bring together young entrepreneurs so as to groom them to be the next generation of business leaders for South Asian Region.The young business leaders from India, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka shared their views in context of their respective countries.SAARC CCI in collaboration with Federation of Nepal Chambers of Commerce and Industry and Nepalese Young Entrepreneurs Forum in partnership with FNF in Kathmandu, Nepal organised the event. The program brought together successful entrepreneurs from region for transformation of best practices to young entrepreneur.Iqbal Tabish, secretary general, SAARC CCI said this event would help young entrepreneurs from different regions to reach their full potentials. He quoted a UNDP research, which says the top constraints for young entrepreneurs today are finding qualified employees and easy access to international market.One major reason is inclination of market towards managerial skills rather than entrepreneurial skills resulting in lack of experienced businesspersons, financial assets and knowledge-based economy. He expressed strong need for youth empowerment and focus on business leadership for South Asian economic development. He concluded with the thought youth were the backbone of business leadership and could change the economies in South Asian countries with regional cooperation.Kush Kumar Joshi, president FNCCI, delivered a keynote speech at conference, which was attended by over 100 young entrepreneurs from the region.Pradeep Kumar Shrestha, vice president, SAARC CCI (Nepal) said youth and youth for future are most capable of making things happen rather than wait for things to happen. “The resources and guidance provided to the youth today have prepared them to face different challenges and change them into opportunities,” he said. To remove bizarre political scenario, he emphasised the role of private sector to do their bit and to pass on the business culture to make new business leaders of the nation.Subodh Kumar, executives programs FNF explained that FNF was a liberal foundation, which was intending on promoting liberal values and believes that it was best when businessmen take charge of business activities, keeping aside political issues. He said freedom and responsibility comes hand in hand and young entrepreneurs today have good knowledge about balancing these two.
He expressed before liberalisation was introduced in India and Nepal; parents encouraged their children to take up government jobs and services.He highlighted the major hurdles to be overcome including Nepal Tourism Year 2011, which are considered great challenge as well as an opportunity for Nepal to generate revenue and show its potentiality to the international market.Enhancing education in terms of quality and quantity, strengthening bilateral trade among member countries, developing infrastructure to support trade and so on. Shahrukh Malik, chairman, SYEF urged the like-minded young entrepreneurs of South Asia should work together for a common goal.He highlighted on the need to look at raising capital from public’s money so that businesses could grow more and also could be more popular among the public.He stressed capital injection should be formalised as it was usually from various informal sources till date.Saurabh Jyoti, vice chairman, SAARC CCI (Nepal) said the country with second highest potential in hydropower is ranked 48th in terms of population size; 50 percent of people in the country are under age of 50 (which is a huge asset for the country.Amandeep S Sahney, vice chairman, SYEF (India) highlighted the issues of competitiveness and compassion, attitude that measures the altitude of a person.
He mentioned the qualities, which are essential in the young entrepreneurs of today- teamwork, problem solving, adaptability, flexibility, advocacy, idea-exchange etc. He highlighted entrepreneurs increase competition in the product market, they lay the foundation for growth and thus they are very important to each country. He urged everyone to act from today itself as tomorrow would be too late. He urged everyone to work with the character of iron as only iron can sharpen iron.Zul?qar Ali Bader, vice chairman, SYEF (Pakistan) underlined the importance of meetings and interactions between member countries of SAARC-CCI. He expressed his gratitude towards senior members of SAARC-CCI for their active participation, inspiration and motivational output and for setting great path for the youth generations.He pointed out the major aim of SAARC, which is to build contact between South Asian country members, to enhance their relationship and promote free trade among them.He emphasised on the need to get to know more of each member by one another, direct interaction from person to person, to build a stronger family-like relation, a need to continue friendship, generation after generation.He highlighted on the importance of free trade among SAARC nations, followed by trade from other non-member countries to SAARC nations, and to reap maximum benefits from developed countries like US, Europe and China.Iqbal Tabish, secretary general SAARC CCI proposed two economic models and a trade theory:Gravity model: likelihood of more trade among countries sharing the same border and trade theory: absolute advantage of a country in a specific sector.Trade diversion theory: If you intend to drive your trade across region, you can add more. All these models advocate that free trade can be promoted – Dailytimes