LAHORE  - The all member countries of SAARC Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCI),must work together to strengthen and promote existing economic ties coupled with durable peace besides accelerating development activities for welfare of people of the region.

This was stated here Sunday by VP,SAARC CCI,Pak chapter Iftikhar Ali Malik,a veteran trade leader while talking to a high level delegation comprising different SAARC countries.

He said that 65 per cent of total south asian trade potential has not been exploited,adding that it is one of the key reasons for instability in this region.

He said that the intra-regional trade figures of south asian are disappointing as trade in the region constitutes only 1.4 per cent of the total world imports and only 27.9 per cent of the GDP,the lowest in the world.

He said although south asia has significantly reduced import tariffs,the cost of trading across its boarders is one of the highest in the world.A number of non-tariff barriers have been identified which hamper trade and increase cost.

He said that SCCI would provide impetus to liberalization of inter-SAARC through SAFTA and materialise as smooth trade flows and reduced transaction costs in intra-regional trade.

Iftikhar Ali Malik said that with rapid advancement of technology the need for sustainability and survival has become crucial perspective for firms throughout the world as competition grows gruesome.

He said that current global crunch has become a setback for countries throughout the world especially in developing and transition economies. Therefore,regional co-operation is one of the most important phenomena today.

He said that the world today has now become a global village and the integration of business and multinational firms has made the world a smaller place to live in."Distances and time are no longer the constraints for business across the globe".