SAARC business visa hurdle bane to inter-regional trade and investment

SAARC Chamber of Commerce and Industry President Suraj Vaidya  presenting a token of appreciation to Minister of Industry and Commerce Rishard Bathudeen
SAARC Chamber of Commerce and Industry President Suraj Vaidya presenting a token of appreciation to Minister of Industry and Commerce Rishard Bathudeen

Obtaining long term business visa for interregional travel in the SAARC region is still an issue, said SAARC Chamber of Commerce Chairman, Suraj Vaidya.

Speaking to Daily News Business he said that although businessmen promoted inter regional trade and created investment and employment opportunities he or she is only given a one or two year visa. “However if I apply to USA I can get 5 years and EU even a visa for 10 years. This is very sad since the region does not recognize businessmen.” According to the World Bank, South Asia is now the fastest growing region in the world. Its 7.1% growth in 2016 is expected to rise to 7.3% in 2017. South Asia – is yet to be “ignited to sustain and further increase economic growth.” He said that security is a issue for the region. “But sadly terrorists don’t need long term visas,” he quipped.

Asked to comment on a single currency to the region like Euro he said it still remains a dream. “These usually take decades globally.”

Meanwhile several business leaders in Sri Lanka are asking as to why the Federation of Chamber of Commerce and Industry is taking Rs, 200,000 to assist local businessmen to obtain business visa for the SAARC region.

When contacted, new President, Ruwan Edirisinghe said that FCCSL too has to do a lot of ground work and also the chamber needs fiancés. He however said that this is not a fee and the money is not being misused.

SAARC Chamber of Commerce Chairman, Suraj Vaidya said that in Nepal they only take an annual membership. 

 


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