In Feb 1994, SAARC Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI) was formally inaugurated in Dhaka by the prime minister of Bangladesh. The headquarters of the SCCI was later set up in the premises of FPCCI (Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce & Industry) in Karachi. In December 1997, it was shifted to Islamabad. SCCI is recognized by all the governments of SAARC member countries as the apex trade organization of the region, was renewed by the SAARC Secretariat by another five years as against two years earlier. This was an acknowledgement of efforts made by the Chamber to bring the business community of the region together to realize the fruits of cooperation and share them with the people of the region.
The constitution of SCCI was given official recognition by SAARC. The SCCI Executive Committee comprises of eight members nominated by each of the eight member federations. The SCCI consists of the following national federations and chambers of commerce and industry as members:
● Afghan Chamber of Commerce and Industries (ACCI)
● Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FBCCI);
● Bhutan Chamber of Commerce & Industry (BCCI);
● Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI);
● Maldives National Chamber of Commerce & Industry (MNCCI);
● Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FNCCI);
● Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FPCCI);
● Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Sri Lanka (FCCISL)
President of SCCI: Mr. Suraj Vaidya
The South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation
The South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) was founded when the First SAARC Summit Declaration and its Charter were formally adopted in Dhaka in December 1985 by the Heads of State or Government of 7 South Asian nations. SAARC provides a platform for peoples of South Asia to work together in a spirit of friendship, trust and understanding. It aims to accelerate the process of economic and social development in Member States. A Council of Ministers consisting of the Foreign Ministers of the Member States was established to produce policies and review the progress of cooperation under the Association. A Standing Committee comprising the Foreign Secretaries of the Member States was also established to supervise and coordinate the programs of cooperation. The Secretariat was established in Katmandu, capital of Nepal, as a standing office. The SAARC Summit attended by the heads of State and Government was held annually. Up to date, 13 Summits have been convened. In the Twelfth SAARC Summit held at Jinnah Convention Center in Islamabad, capital of Pakistan, in January 2004, 7 Member States inked many documents, including the Framework Agreement on South Asian Free Trade Areas (SAFTA). The Framework Agreement requires the South Asian nations to lower their tariffs and abolish non-tariff barriers from the year 2006, facilitating the establishment of the SAFTA. In the Thirteenth SAARC Summit held in Dhaka in November 2005, leaders of 7 Member States, after two days of multilateral and bilateral negotiations, signed 3 protocols and issued the Dhaka Declaration. In 2006, SAARC officially included China as an observer and Afghanistan as a full member of the organization.