BBC, Ficci strategic partners in Mumbai Saarc biz meet

NEW DELHI: BBC World, the BBC's international 24-hour news and information channel will be the official media partner for the second SAARC Business Leaders Conclave, being hosted on 17 and 18 February in Mumbai, a company statement said today.

The conclave organised by the SAARC Chamber of Commerce will see BBC World and Ficci as strategic partners, providing a platform for global debate, dialogue and discussion.

Pranab Mukherjee, Minister for Foreign Affairs of India, will inaugurate the SAARC Business Leaders Conclave 2007.

The two-day event will witness participation from eminent corporate, government and media personnel from across the sub-continent.

Among those addressing the conclave are Dasho Ugen Tsechup Dorji, President, SCCI; Syed Yawar Ali, Chairman, Nestle, Pakistan;. Alan Winters, Director- Development Research Group, The World Bank and Najam Sethi, Daily Times, Pakistan.

On February18, BBC World will organise a debate: "Is a South Asian economic union necessary for economic growth in South Asian nations?"

The debate will be moderated by BBC World's business correspondent, Karishma Vaswani with Vicki Treadell, Deputy High Commissioner, British Deputy High Commission, Mumbai and Anand Giridharadas, South Asia Correspondent, International Herald Tribune, among others taking part in the panel discussions.

Vaishali Sharma, head of marketing communication, BBC World, India, says, "As a leading international news channel, we are proud to associate with Ficci in this endeavour to encourage regional economic cooperation through the SAARC business leaders conclave, as a result providing value to our stakeholders."

Dr Amit Mitra, Secretary General, Ficci says, "SAARC Business Leaders Conclave is an attempt by the private sector of SAARC towards realising the aspirations of South Asia's economic integration.

"The Conclave emphasises deeper Public-Private Partnership (PPP) for creating a platform to address the common challenges that South Asia is facing. Ficci and SAARC Chamber of Commerce & Industry (SCCI) are delighted that BBC World is partnering with us in this unique enterprise of thought leadership."

The first SAARC Business Leaders Conclave (SBLC) in 2005 was held at a time of when SAARC countries stood at the threshold of a new decade of their existence.

The conclave provided a unique platform to debate the gains made in regional cooperation during its first two decades and to underline that efforts must continue to free South Asia from poverty, hunger and other forms of deprivation which present a daunting challenge.

The 2007 conclave will reinforce this process through its two-day session theme - Regional Cooperation: A Springboard for Growth and Job Creation.

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