The 7th South Asia Economic Summit (SAES)

The 7th South Asia Economic Summit (SAES) was held in New Delhi, India, from the 5th to 7th of November 2014. The theme of this year’s summit was ‘Towards a South Asia Economic Union’.  Dr. Saman Kelegama, Executive Director, IPS, Dr. Dushni Weerakoon, Deputy Director, IPS, Anushka Wijesinha, Research Economist of IPS and IPS Research Officers Dilani Hirimuthugoda, Dharshani Premaratne, and Raveen Ekanayake were all resource persons at the summit.

The Summit was organized by the Research and Information Systems for Developing Countries (RIS), India. IPS organized the 6th SAES in Colombo last year and was a co-organizer of the 7th South Asia Economic Summit along with CPD (Bangladesh), SAWTEE (Nepal), SPDI (Pakistan), and SACEPS (Nepal). The broad objective of the Summit was to facilitate a dialogue between relevant stakeholders to identify key trade and socio-economic issues for regional cooperation in South Asia.  The deliberations at the Summit would be used to frame recommendations for the upcoming 18th Summit of South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), to be held in Nepal and graced by the heads of state of SAARC governments.

Executive Director, Dr. Kelegama made a presentation on ‘Towards a SAARC Investment Area: Policy Options and Challenges’ during the fourth plenary session on ‘Cooperation for South Asia Investment Bloc’. Dr. Dushni Weerakoon made Special Comments in the third plenary session on “South Asia Connectivity: Regional Agenda for South Asia Economic Union” while Mr. Anushka Wijesinha was a panelist in the concurrent session on “Services Trade, Mutual Recognition and Trade Reforms”. Ms. Dilani Hirimuthugoda was a panelist in the concurrent session on ‘Science & Technology including IPR’. Ms. Dharshani Premaratne was a panelist in the concurrent session ‘Trade Facilitation including Customs Cooperation’. Mr. Raveen Ekanayake was a panelist in the concurrent session on ‘Non-tariff Measures including Standards and Regulations’.

At the summit, the book titled ‘Towards a Stronger, Dynamic and Inclusive South Asia’ jointly edited by Dr. Saman Kelegama and Anushka Wijesinha was launched. The book contains the revised background papers of the four plenary sessions at the 6th SAES held in Colombo 2013.