The Diplomatic Society

 
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size
Excellent prospects for South Africans at the 17th SAARC summit

            
   By Dr Srimal Fernando,  South Asia Correspondent for Foreign Exchange
                                                                

South Asia is home to nearly 1.5 billion people or about 22 percent of the world’s population. South Asian region includesthe countries of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Afghanistan, Bhutan and The Maldives. The regions economy has grown dramatically largely as a result of opening up its economies to the rest of the world and adopting market-oriented policies. According to the World Bank report of 2011, South Asia has experienced a long period of robust economic growth, averaging 6 percent a year over the past 20 years. Most of the countries in South Asia are close to graduating from least developing country status to lower middle income countries. The significance in socio-economic development of the South Asian countries has been recognized since the inception of SAARC.
In late 1970's President  Ziaur Rahman of Bangladesh proposed, creation of a trade bloc consisting of South Asian countries. The Bangladeshi President’s proposal was accepted by India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka in 1981 during a meeting held in Colombo. The heads of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan and the Maldives signed the charter to establish the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) on December 8th, 1985. The SAARC regional grouping charter serves as a solid foundation in achieving the legal and institutional framework to promote the welfare of the peoples of South Asia and to improve their quality of life through accelerated economic growth, social progress and cultural development in the region. Afghanistan was admitted to the regional grouping on 13th November 2005 as their eighth member.
In recent years, the member countries had formulated the South Asia Free Trade Agreement (SAFTA) which created a framework for the establishment of a   free trade area within the region. During the last five years intra-regional business had gone up to US$5billion (Est 2010). The regional summit has moved beyond declarations to covering cooperation in a range of areas including trade, development, education and culture. In its 25 years of existence Food Bank, Free Trade Agreement, Development Fund and South Asian University were significant achievements by the regional grouping.
The SAARC member countries have been cooperating in the development of sports. The governing body of these games is the South Asian Sports Council (SASC) formed in 1983 that oversees the bi-annual sporting event known as the South Asian Federation Games or SAF Games held among the athletes from South Asian countries. The 12th SAF Games is an upcoming major sporting event, scheduled to take place in Delhi in 2012.
Faced with the constant threat of disasters, the regional countries have worked hard on disaster response and risk reduction .The SAARC Disaster Management Centre (SDMC) was set up in October 2006 in New Delhi. The SDMC works on various dimensions of disaster risk reduction and on management in South Asia.
Over the years, there has been a growing interest among many countries to associate with SAARC. Currently Australia, China, USA, European Union (EU), Iran, Japan, Republic of Korea, Myanmar and Mauritius are the nine observers to SAARC. Even though South Africa has participated in previous meetings, the country is yet to become an observer. The Maldives will be the host nation for the 17th SAARC summit in 2011. Pre-SAARC Summit work currently being carried out in the Hulhudhoo Island or Addu City. The construction of the convention centre is expected to be completed by October to host the summit in November.
The historical links between South Asia and South Africa dates back to 19th century. Today about two per cent of the South African population are descendents from South Asians. South Asian region and South Africa have a 150-years old strong cultural relationship which added towards strengthening the economic and trade relationship with both regions. Since 1994 the bilateral relations between the South Asian countries and South Africa have been progressing gradually. The recent years have witnessed the rapid development in the relationship of friendly cooperation between South Africa and the SAARC regional grouping. The two-way flow between South Africa and regional countries has also been on the increase. South Asian countries view South Africa as an important strategic partner in the African continent with tremendous potential to offer. It is important to create a deeper longstanding dialogue between South Africa and the SAARC regional grouping in the upcoming 17th SAARC summit, scheduled to take place in the Maldives in November this year.
 


Tuesday, 14 October 2014 10:02
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
_________________________________________________

April 2017 Edition

_________________________________________________

Translater


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Tuesday, 14 October 2014 07:56
 

Science, Technology and Environment Cooperation between South Africa and Argentina 6 April 2017 The Scientific and Technological Cooperation between South Africa and Argentina was further enhanced... <|> High Court on Dagga 6 April 2017 The Hemp, Dagga, Weed, Herb, Marijuana and a plant by any other name, Industrialisation report back presentation was full of positive excitement. Medicines,... <|> Transforming ballet in South Africa 10 April 2017 Transformation in ballet has a long way to go. In order to make the most of talent that is available in South Africa, talented dancers from all... <|> Easing travel regulations between South Africa and Kenya 3 May 2016 South Africa and Kenya have announced measures that will make travelling between the two countries easier. South African Home... <|> Commemorating 20 years of Signing the Red Fort Declaration and bidding farewell 10 April 2017 20 Years ago late President Nelson Mandela of South Africa and Mr HD Deve Gowda, former Prime Minister... <|> Transnet launches first ever train 4 April 2017 Transnet has officially launched it’s the first ever train which it designed, engineered and manufactured. The locomotive, which will serve the... <|> Deputy Minister Landers concludes successful working visit to Central America 7 April 2017 International Relations and Cooperation Deputy Minister Luwellyn Landers has concluded his Working Visit... <|> Sri Lanka and South Africa pursue enhanced cooperation 18 April 2017 The Sixth Session of the Senior Officials’ Meeting of the Partnership Forum between Sri Lanka and South Africa was held in... <|> UN Designates Malala Yousafzai as Messenger of Peace 11 April 2017 United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres designated Malala Yousafzai, global advocate for girls’ education and the... <|> South Africa and Qatar explore investment opportunities 12 April 2017 Pretoria - The President of the Black Business Council, Dr Danisa Baloyi, says South Africa should take advantage of the... <|>
© copyright 2011-2017| The Diplomatic Society| All Rights Reserved.